World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Timeline of Events
from Wikipedia
Events prior to WW2

November 11
The Armistice with Germany marks the end of World War I. German troops evacuate occupied territories and Allied troops subsequently move in and occupy the German Rhineland.
January 4-15
The Spartacist uprising takes place and is crushed by the German government, marking the end of the German Revolution.
January 18
Opening of the Paris Peace Conference to negotiate peace treaties between the belligerents of World War I.
The Polish–Soviet War begins with border clashes between the two states.
March 2
Foundation of the Third International, or Comintern in Moscow. Comintern's stated aim is to create a global Soviet republic.
May 15
The Turkish War of Independence begins as Greek troops land in Smyrna.
June 28
Germany and the Allied powers sign the Treaty of Versailles after six months of negotiations. The German armed forces are limited in size to 100,000 personnel and Germany is ordered to pay large reparations for war damages. The United States signed the treaty but did not ratify it, later making a separate peace treaty with Germany.
September 10
German Austria signs the Treaty of Saint-Germain. The peace treaty with the Allies regulates the borders of Austria, forbids union with Germany and German Austria has to change its name to Austria. The United States did not ratify the treaty and later makes a separate peace treaty with Austria.
November 27
Bulgaria signs the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. The peace treaty with the Allies regulates the borders of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian army is reduced to 20,000 men and Bulgaria is ordered to pay war reparations.
January 21
The Paris Peace Conference comes to an end with the inaugural General Assembly of the League of Nations. Although one of the victors of World War I, the United States never joins the League.
The failed Kapp Putsch takes place against the German government.
June 4
Hungary signs the Treaty of Trianon with the Allied powers. The treaty regulated the status of an independent Hungarian state and defined its borders. The United States did not ratify the treaty and later makes a separate peace treaty with Hungary.
August 10
Turkey signs the Treaty of Sèvres with the Allied powers. The treaty partitions the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish armed forces are reduced in size. Greece did not accept the borders as drawn up in the treaty and did not sign it. The Treaty of Sèvres was annulled in the course of the Turkish War of Independence and the parties signed and ratified the superseding Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Żeligowski's Mutiny, a Polish force led by General Lucjan Żeligowski capture Vilnius, officially without support from the Polish state
The Polish–Soviet War ends with the Peace of Riga.
August 25
The U.S.–German Peace Treaty and the U.S.–Austrian Peace Treaty are signed, marking the formal end of the state of war between the two states and the United States instead of the Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Saint-Germain that were not ratified by the United States.
August 29
The U.S.–Hungarian Peace Treaty is signed, marking the formal end of the state of war between the two states instead of the Treaty of Trianon that was not ratified by the United States.
February 6
The Washington Naval Conference ends with the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty by the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy. The signing parties agree to limit the size of their naval forces.
April 16
Germany and the Soviet Union sign the Treaty of Rapallo, re-establishing diplomatic relations, renouncing financial claims on each other and pledge future cooperation.
The Russian Civil War (ongoing since 7 November 1917) ends in Bolshevik victory with the defeat of the last White forces in Siberia.
October 29
Fascist leader Benito Mussolini is appointed prime minister of Italy by king Victor Emmanuel III after the March on Rome.
November 1
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey abolishes the Ottoman Sultanate.
January 11
France occupies the Ruhr in an effort to compel Germany to step up its payments of war reparations.
July 24
The Treaty of Lausanne, settling the boundaries of modern Turkey, is signed in Switzerland by Turkey and the Entente powers. It marks the end of the Turkish War of Independence and replaces the earlier Treaty of Sèvres.
August 31
The Corfu incident: Italy bombards and occupies the Greek island of Corfu seeking to pressure Greece to pay reparations for the murder of an Italian general in Greece.
September 27
The Corfu incident ends; Italian troops withdraw after the Conference of Ambassadors rules in favor of Italian demands of reparations from Greece.
October 29
Turkey officially becomes a Republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
November 8
The Beer Hall Putsch takes place, in which Adolf Hitler unsuccessfully leads the Nazis in an attempt to overthrow the German government. It is crushed by police the next day.
January 21
Leader of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin dies, and Joseph Stalin begins purging rivals to clear the way for his leadership.
June 10
Italian Fascists kidnap and kill socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti in Rome.
August 16
The Dawes Plan is accepted. It ends the Allied occupation of the Ruhr and sets a staggered payment plan for Germany's payment of war reparations.
February 1
The Soviet Union recognizes the United Kingdom.
April 1
Adolf Hitler is sentenced to 5 years in jail for his participation in the Beer Hall Putsch (he serves only 9 months).
April 6
Fascists win elections in Italy with a 2/3 majority.
July 18
Adolf Hitler's autobiographical manifesto Mein Kampf is published.
August 18
France begins withdrawing its troops from the Ruhr in Germany.
December 3
The Locarno Treaties are signed in London (they are ratified 14 September 1926). The treaties settle the borders of western Europe and normalizes relations between Germany and the Allied powers of western Europe.
January 3
Theodoros Pangalos declares himself dictator of Greece.
January 31
British and Belgian troops leave Cologne, Germany.
April 4
Greek dictator Theodoros Pangalos is elected president.
April 24
The Treaty of Berlin is signed by Germany and the Soviet Union, which declares neutrality if either country is attacked within the next five years.
September 8
Germany joins the League of Nations.
December 25
Emperor Taishō dies and his son Hirohito becomes the Emperor of Japan.
April 12
The Chinese Civil War begins between nationalists and communists.
May 20
Saudi Arabia becomes independent from the United Kingdom by the Treaty of Jeddah.
June 7
Peter Voikov, Soviet ambassador to Warsaw, is assassinated by a White movement activist.
November 12
Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin with undisputed control of the Soviet Union.
December 14
Iraq gains independence from the United Kingdom.
The Soviet Union launches the First Five-Year Plan, an economic effort to increase industrialization.
May 3
The Jinan Incident begins, a limited armed conflict between the Republic of China and Japan.
June 4
Huanggutun Incident: Japanese agents assassinate the Chinese warlord Zhang Zuolin.
August 2
Italy and Ethiopia sign the Italo-Ethiopian Treaty, pledging cooperation and friendship.
August 27
The Kellogg-Briand Pact is signed in Paris by the major powers of the world. The treaty outlaws aggressive warfare.
February 9
Litvinov's Pact is signed in Moscow by the Soviet Union, Poland, Estonia, Romania and Latvia. The Pact outlaws aggressive warfare along the lines of the Kellog-Briand Pact.
February 11
Italy and the Holy See sign the Lateran Treaty, normalizing relations between the Vatican and Italy.
March 28
Japan withdraws troops from China, ending the Jinan Incident.
April 3
Persia signs Litvinov's Pact.
June 7
The Lateran Treaty is ratified, making the Vatican City a sovereign state.
July 24
The Kellogg-Briand Pact goes into effect.
August 31
The Young Plan, which sets the total World War I reparations owed by Germany at US$26,350,000,000 to be paid over a period of 58½ years, is finalized. It replaces the earlier Dawes Plan.
October 29
The Great Depression begins with the Wall Street Crash.
April 22
The United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy and Japan sign the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting naval shipbuilding.
June 30
France withdraws its remaining troops from the Rhineland ending the occupation of the Rhineland.
September 18
Mukden Incident: the Japanese stage a false flag bombing against a Japanese-owned railroad in the Chinese region of Manchuria, blaming Chinese dissidents for the attack.
September 19
Using the Mukden Incident as a pretext, the Japanese invade Manchuria.
The Soviet famine of 1932–33 begins, caused in part by the collectivization of agriculture of the First Five-Year Plan.
January 7
The Stimson Doctrine is proclaimed by United States Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson in response to Japan invading Manchuria. The Doctrine holds that the United States government will not recognize border changes that are made by force.
January 28
January 28 Incident: using a flare-up of anti-Japanese violence as a pretext, the Japanese attack Shanghai, China. Fighting ends on March 6, and on May 5 a ceasefire agreement is signed wherein Shanghai is made a demilitarized zone.
February 27
Fighting between China and Japan in Manchuria ends with Japan in control of Manchuria.
March 1
Japan creates the puppet state Manchukuo out of occupied Manchuria.
April 10
Paul von Hindenburg is reelected President of Germany, defeating Adolf Hitler in a run-off.
May 30
Chancellor of Germany Heinrich Brüning resigns. President von Hindenburg asks Franz von Papen to form a new government.
August 30
Hermann Göring is elected chairman of the German Senate.
November 21
Paul von Hindenburg begins talking to Adolf Hitler about forming a new government.
December 3
von Hindenburg names Kurt von Schleicher Chancellor of Germany.
January 1
Defense of the Great Wall: Japan attacks the fortified eastern end of the Great Wall of China in Rehe Province in Inner Mongolia.
January 30
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg.
February 27
Germany's parliament building the Reichstag is set on fire.
February 28
The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed, nullifying many German civil liberties.
March 4
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as President of the United States.
March 20
Germany's first concentration camp, Dachau, is completed.
March 23
The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
March 27
Japan leaves the League of Nations over the League of Nations' Lytton Report that found that Manchuria belongs to China and that Manchukuo was not a truly independent state.
April 1
Germans are told to boycott Jewish shops and businesses.
April 26
The Gestapo secret police is established in Germany.
May 2
Hitler outlaws trade unions.
May 31
The Tanggu Truce is signed between China and Japan, setting the ceasefire conditions between the two states after the Japanese occupation of Manchuria. China accedes to all Japanese demands, creating a large demilitarized zone inside Chinese territory.
June 21
All non-Nazi parties are banned in Germany.
July 14
The Nazi party becomes the official party of Germany.
September 12
Leó Szilárd conceives the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.
October 17
Scientist Albert Einstein arrives in the United States and settles as a refugee from Germany.
October 19
Germany leaves the League of Nations.
November 24
Homeless, alcoholic, and unemployed sent to Nazi concentration camps.
January 26
Germany and Poland sign the 10 year German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact.
February 12-16
The Austrian Civil War is fought, ending with Austrofascist victory.
March 20
All German police forces come under the command of Heinrich Himmler.
June 30
Night of the Long Knives in Germany. Potential rivals to Hitler within the Nazi Party, including SA leader Ernst Röhm, and prominent anti-Nazi conservatives are killed by the SS and the Gestapo.
July 20
The SS becomes an organization independent of the Nazi Party, reporting directly to Adolf Hitler.
July 25
Austrian Nazis assassinate Engelbert Dollfuss during the failed July Putsch against the Austrian government.
August 2
Upon the death of President Paul von Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler makes himself Führer of Germany, becoming Head of State as well as Chancellor.
August 8
Members of the Wehrmacht begin swearing a personal oath of loyalty to Hitler instead of to the German constitution.
The Soviet Union joins the League of Nations.
December 5
The Abyssinia Crisis begins with the Walwal incident, an armed clash between Italian and Ethiopian troops on the border of Ethiopia.
December 29
Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty and the London Naval Treaty.
January 7
The League of Nations approves the results of the Saar plebiscite, which allows Saar to be incorporated into German borders.
June 18
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement is signed by Germany and the United Kingdom. The agreement allows Germany to build a fleet that's 35% the tonnage of the British fleet. In this way, the British hope to limit German naval re-armament.
August 31
The Neutrality Act of 1935 is passed in the United States imposing a general embargo on trading in arms and war materials with all parties in a war and it also declared that American citizens travelling on ships of warring nations travelled at their own risk.
October 2
Italy invades Ethiopia, beginning the Second Italo–Abyssinian War.
In 1936, Adolf Hitler demanded to have a private meeting with Arnold J. Toynbee who was visiting Berlin the same year to address the Nazi Law Society, and Toynbee accepted. In the meeting, Hitler emphasized his limited expansionist aim of building a greater German nation, and his desire for British understanding and cooperation. Toynbee was convinced of Hitler's sincerity, and endorsed Hitler's message in a confidential memorandum for the British prime minister and foreign secretary.
February 6
Germany hosts the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
March 7
In violation of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany remilitarizes the Rhineland.
March 25
The Second London Naval Treaty is signed by the United Kingdom, United States, and France. Italy and Japan each declined to sign this treaty.
May 5
Italian troops march into the Ethiopian capital, Addis Addeba, marking the end of the Second Italo–Abyssinian War.
July 17
The failed Spanish coup of July 1936 by Nationalist forces marks the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
August 1
Germany hosts the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
October 18
Hermann Göring is made head of the German Four Year Plan, an effort to make Germany self-sufficient and increase armaments.
The Great Purge commences in the Soviet Union with widespread repression of suspected opponents of the regime. The purge leads to the imprisonment and death of many military officers, weakening the Soviet Armed Forces ahead of World War II.
November 14
Suiyuan Campaign begins as Japanese-backed Mongolian troops attack the Chinese garrison at Hongort.
November 15
The aerial German Condor Legion goes into action for the first time in the Spanish Civil War in support of the Nationalist side.
November 25
The Anti-Comintern Pact is signed by Japan and Germany. The signing parties agree to go to war with the Soviet Union if one of the signatories is attacked by the Soviet Union.
December 1
Hitler makes it mandatory for all males between the ages 10-18 to join the Hitler Youth.
December 12
The two sides in the Chinese Civil War temporarily suspend hostilities to fight the Japanese.
December 23
The first 3,000 men of the Italian expeditionary force (later named Corpo Truppe Volontarie) lands in Cadiz in support of the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War.
July 7
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident occurs, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War.
October 5
U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt gives the Quarantine Speech outlining a move away from neutrality and towards "quarantining" all aggressors.
November 6
Italy joins the Anti-Comintern Pact.
December 8
Japan established the puppet state of Mengjiang in the Inner Mongolia region of the Republic of China.[5]
December 11
Italy leaves the League of Nations.
December 12
The USS Panay incident occurs, where Japan attacked the American gunboat Panay, while she was anchored in the Yangtze River.
January 26
The Allison incident occurs further straining relations between Japan and the United States.
March 6
Japanese troops reaches the Yellow River in China.[6]
March 13
Austria is annexed by Nazi Germany.
July 29
The Soviet–Japanese border conflicts begin with the Battle of Lake Khasan.
Soviet Union wins the Battle of Khasan against Japan.
September 27
U.S. President Roosevelt sends letter to German Führer Adolf Hitler seeking peace.
September 30
The Munich Agreement is signed by Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The agreement allows Germany to annex the Czechoslovak Sudetenland area in exchange for peace in an attempt to appease Hitler.
November 7
Exiled German Jew Herschel Grynszpan assassinates German consular aide Ernst vom Rath in Paris.[8]
November 9
The Kristallnacht pogrom begins in Germany; Jewish shops and synagogues are smashed, looted, burned, and destroyed throughout the country.[9]
January 25
An uranium atom is split for the first time at Columbia University in the United States.
January 27
Adolf Hitler orders Plan Z, a 5-year naval expansion programme intended to provide for a huge German fleet capable of defeating the Royal Navy by 1944. The Kriegsmarine is given the first priority on the allotment of German economic resources. This is the first and only time the Kriegsmarine is given the first priority in the history of the Third Reich.
March 14
The pro-German Slovak Republic is created with Jozef Tiso as its first prime minister.
March 15
Germany occupies Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement. The Czechs do not attempt to put up any organized resistance having lost their main defensive line with the annexation of the Sudetenland.
Germany establishes the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The protectorate includes those portions of Czechoslovakia not incorporated into Germany, Poland, Hungary, or the new Slovak Republic.
March 20
German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop delivers an oral ultimatum to Lithuania, demanding that it cede the Klaipėda Region (German name Memel) to Germany.
March 21
Adolf Hitler demands the return of the Free City of Danzig to Germany.
March 23
German–Romanian Treaty for the Development of Economic Relations between the Two Countries is signed.
March 31
The United Kingdom and France offer a guarantee of Polish independence.
April 1
The Spanish Civil War ends in Nationalist victory. Spain becomes a dictatorship with Francisco Franco as the head of the new government.
April 3
Adolf Hitler orders the German military to start planning for Fall Weiss, the codename for the attack on Poland, planned to be launched on August 25, 1939.
April 7-12
Italy invades Albania with little in the way of military resistance. Albania is later made part of Italy through a personal union of the Italian and Albanian crown.
April 14
U.S. President Roosevelt sends letter to German Chancellor Hitler seeking peace.
April 18
The Soviet Union proposes a tripartite alliance with the United Kingdom and France. It is rejected.
April 28
In a speech before the Reichstag, Adolf Hitler renounces the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact
May 11
Soviet–Japanese border conflicts: The Battle of Khalkhin Gol begins with Japan and Manchukuo against the Soviet Union and Mongolia. The battle ends in Soviet victory on September 16, influencing the Japanese to not seek further conflict with the Soviets, but to turn towards the Pacific holdings of the Euro-American powers instead.
May 17
Sweden, Norway, and Finland reject Germany's offer of non-aggression pacts.
May 22
The Pact of Steel, known formally as the "Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy", is signed by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Pact declares further cooperation between the two powers, but in a secret supplement the Pact is detailed as a military alliance.
June 14
The Tientsin Incident occurs, in which the Japanese blockade the British concession in the North China Treaty Port of Tientsin.
July 10
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain reaffirms support for Poland and makes it clear that Britain did not view Free City of Danzig as being an internal German-Polish affair and would intervene on behalf of Poland if hostilities broke out between the two countries.
August 2
The Einstein-Szilárd letter is sent to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Written by Leó Szilárd and signed by Albert Einstein, it warned of the danger that Germany might develop atomic bombs. This letter prompted action by Roosevelt and eventually resulted in the Manhattan Project.
August 23
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, with secret provisions for the division of Eastern Europe - joint occupation of Poland and Soviet occupation of the Baltic States, Finland and Bessarabia. This protocol removes the threat of Soviet intervention during the German invasion of Poland.
August 25
In response to a message from Mussolini that Italy will not honor the Pact of Steel if Germany attacks Poland, Hitler delays the launch of the invasion by five days to provide more time to secure British and French neutrality.
September 1
Germany invades Poland, start of World War II.

1939 - Start of WW2

September 1939

The allies and axis powers at the dawn of the German/Soviet invasion of Poland.
1: The Republic of China and the Empire of Japan are involved in the early stages of the third year of armed conflict between them during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The war is in what will be known as the "Second Period", which starts in October 1938 and ends in December 1941. This conflict will eventually be swept up into WWII when Japan joins the Axis and China the Allies.
1: The Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany begins at 4:45 a.m. with the Luftwaffe attacking several targets in Poland. The Luftwaffe launches air attacks against Kraków, Łódź, and Warsaw. Within five minutes of the Luftwaffe attacks, the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) orders the old Battleship Schleswig-Holstein to open fire on the Polish military transit depot at Westerplatte in the Free City of Danzig on the Baltic Sea, but the attack is repulsed. By 8:00 a.m., troops of the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer), still without a formal declaration of war issued, launch an attack near the Polish town of Mokra.
1: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Switzerland declare their neutrality.
1: The British government declares general mobilization of the British Armed Forces and begins evacuation plans in preparation of German air attacks.
2: The United Kingdom and France issue a joint ultimatum to Germany, requiring German troops to evacuate Polish territory; Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declares the neutrality of his nation; President Douglas Hyde of the Republic of Ireland declares the neutrality of his nation; the Swiss government orders a general mobilization of its forces.
2: The National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939 is enacted immediately and enforces full conscription on all males between 18 and 41 resident in the UK.
2: The Free City of Danzig is annexed by Germany.
3: At 11:15 a.m. British Standard Time (BST), British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announces on BBC Radio that the deadline of the final British ultimatum for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland expired at 11:00am and that "consequently this nation is at war with Germany". Australia, India, and New Zealand also declare war on Germany within hours of Britain's declaration.
3: At 12:30pm BST the French Government delivers a similar final ultimatum; which expires at 3:00pm BST.
3: Within hours of the British declaration of War, SS Athenia, a British cruise ship en route from Glasgow, Scotland to Montreal, Canada is torpedoed by the German submarine U-30 250 miles Northwest of Ireland. 112 passengers and crew members are killed. The "Battle of the Atlantic" begins.
4: At 8:00 a.m. Newfoundland Standard Time (NST), Dominion of Newfoundland declares war on Germany.
4: In the first British offensive action of the War, the Royal Air Force launch a raid on the German fleet in the Heligoland Bight. They target the German pocket-battleship Admiral Scheer anchored off Wilhelmshaven at the western end of the Kiel Canal. Several aircraft are lost in the attack and, although the German vessel is hit three times, all of the bombs fail to explode.
4: Japan announces its neutrality in the European situation. The British Admiralty announces the beginning of a naval blockade on Germany, one of a range of measures by which the British will wage economic warfare on the Axis Powers
4: The United States launches the Neutrality Patrol.
5: South African Prime Minister Barry Hertzog fails to gain support for a declaration of South African neutrality and is deposed by a party caucus for Deputy Prime Minister Jan Smuts.
5: The United States publicly declares neutrality.
6: South Africa, now under Prime Minister Jan Smuts, declares war on Germany.
6: Battle of Barking Creek, a friendly fire incident, results in the first RAF fighter pilot fatalities of the War).
6: One of Germany's land forces (Wehrmacht Heer) captures Kraków in the south of Poland; Polish army is in general retreat.
7: France begins a token offensive, moving into German territory near Saarbrücken.
7: The National Registration Act 1939 is passed in Britain introducing identity cards and allowing the government to control labour.
8: The British Government announces the re-introduction of the convoy system for merchant ships and a full-scale blockade on German shipping.
9: The French Saar Offensive stalls at the heavily mined Warndt Forest having advanced approximately 8 miles into lightly defended German territory.
10: Canada declares war on Germany.
11: Viceroy of India Lord Linlithgow announces to the two houses of the Indian Legislature (the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly) that due to India's participation in the war, the plans for the Federation of India under the Government of India Act 1935 will be indefinitely postponed.
12: General Gamelin orders a halt to the French advance into Germany.
15: The Polish Army is ordered to hold out at the Romanian border until the Allies arrive.
16: The German Army complete the encirclement of Warsaw.
16: The French complete their retreat from Germany, ending the Saar Offensive
17: The Soviet Union invades Poland from the east, occupying the territory east of the Curzon line as well as Białystok and Eastern Galicia.
17: Aircraft carrier HMS Courageous is torpedoed and sunk by U-29 on patrol off the coast of Ireland
17: The Imperial Japanese Army launches attacks on the Chinese city of Changsha, when their forces in northern Jiangxi attacked westward toward Henan.
18: Polish President Ignacy Mościcki and Commander-in-Chief Edward Rydz-Śmigły leave Poland for Romania, where they are both interned; Russian forces reach Vilnius and Brest-Litovsk. Polish submarine escapes from Tallinn - Estonia's neutrality is questioned by the Soviet Union and Germany.
19: The German and Soviet armies link up near Brest Litovsk.
19: Soviet Union blockades the harbour of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
19: Soviet Union and its ally Mongolia win the Battle of Khalkhin Gol against Japan, ending the Soviet-Japanese Border Wars.
19: The Japanese Imperial Army attacks the Chinese National Revolutionary Army along the Sinchiang River using poison gas during the Battle of Changsha.
20: German submarine U-27 is sunk with depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Fortune and HMS Forester.
21: Romanian Prime Minister Armand Călinescu is assassinated by the Iron Guard, an ultra-nationalistic group in Romania.
23: The Imperial Japanese Army drive the Chinese National Revolutionary Army out of the Sinchiang river area, and the 6th and 13th Divisions cross the river under artillery cover and advances further south along the Miluo River during the Battle of Changsha.
24: Soviet air force violates Estonian airspace. The Estonians negotiate with Molotov in Moscow. Molotov warns the Estonians that if the Soviet Union doesn’t get military bases in Estonia, it will be forced to use "more radical actions".
25: German home front measures begin with food rationing.
25: Soviet air activity in Estonia. Soviet troops along the Estonian border include 600 tanks and 600 aircraft and 160 000 men.
26: Following a massive artillery bombardment, the Germans launch a major infantry assault on the centre of Warsaw.
26: Russian bombers seen in the Tallinn sky.
27: In the first offensive operations by the German Army in Western Europe, guns on the Siegfried Line open up on villages behind French Maginot line.
28: German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty is signed by Molotov and Ribbentrop. The secret protocol specifies the details of partition of Poland originally defined in Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (August 23, 1939) and adds Lithuania to the Soviet Union sphere of interest.
28: The remaining Polish army and militia in the centre of Warsaw capitulate to the Germans.
28: Soviet troops mass by the Latvian border. Latvian air space violated.
28: Estonia signs a 10-year Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union, which allows the Soviets to have 30 000-men military bases in Estonia. As a gift in return Stalin promises to respect Estonian independence.
29: The Japanese Imperial Army reaches the outskirts of Changsha. However, they it is unable to conquer the city because its supply lines are cut off by the Chinese National Revolutionary Army.
30: The German pocket-battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks its first merchant ship, the British freighter Clement while off the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil.
30: French forces on the French-German border fall back to the Maginot Line in anticipation of a German invasion.

October 1939
2: Latvian representatives negotiate with Stalin and Molotov. Soviets threaten an occupation by force if they do not get military bases in Latvia.
2: Declaration of Panama is approved by American Republics. Belligerent activities should not take place within waters adjacent to the American continent. A neutrality zone of some 300 miles in breadth is to be patrolled by the U.S. Navy.
3: British forces move to the Belgian border, anticipating a German invasion of the West.
3: Lithuanians meet Stalin and Molotov in Moscow. Stalin offers Lithuania the city of Vilnius (in Poland) in return for allowing Soviet military bases in Lithuania. The Lithuanians are reluctant.
5: Latvia signs a 10-year Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union, which allows the Soviets to have 25,000 men in military bases in Latvia. Stalin promises to respect Latvian independence.
6: Chinese army reportedly defeats the Japanese at the Battle of Changsha.
6: Polish resistance in the Polish September Campaign comes to an end. Hitler speaks before the Reichstag, declaring a desire for a conference with Britain and France to restore peace.
7: Lithuanians again meet the Soviets in Moscow. The Soviets demand military bases.
9: Germany issues orders (Case Yellow) to prepare for the invasion of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
10: The last of Poland's military surrenders to the Germans.
10: The leaders of the German navy suggest to Hitler they need to occupy Norway.
10: British Prime Minister Chamberlain declines Hitler's offer of peace.
10: Lithuania signs a 15-year Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union, which allows the Soviets to have 20,000 men in military bases in Lithuania. In a secret protocol, Vilnius is made Lithuanian territory.
11: An estimated 158,000 British troops are now in France.
12: Adolf Eichmann begins deporting Jews from Austria and Czechoslovakia into Poland.
12: French Premier Édouard Daladier declines Hitler's offer of peace.
12: Finland's representatives meet Stalin and Molotov in Moscow. Soviet Union demands Finland give up a military base near Helsinki and exchange some Soviet and Finnish territories to protect Leningrad against Great Britain or the eventual future threat of Germany.
14: The British battleship HMS Royal Oak is sunk in Scapa Flow harbour by U-47, under the command of Günther Prien.
14: Finns meet Stalin again. Stalin tells that "an accident" might happen between Finnish and Soviet troops, if the negotiations last too long.
16: First air attack on Great Britain, aimed at ships in the Firth of Forth, Scotland.[7]
18: First Soviet forces enter Estonia. During the Umsiedlung, 12,600 Baltic Germans leave Estonia.
19: Portions of Poland are formally inducted into Germany; the first Jewish ghetto is established at Lublin
20: The "Phoney War": French troops settle in the Maginot line's dormitories and tunnels; the British build new fortifications along the "gap" between the Maginot line and the Channel.
20: Pope Pius XII's first encyclical condemns racism and dictatorships.
27: Belgium announces that it is neutral in the present conflict.
30: The British government releases a report on concentration camps being built in Europe for Jews and anti-Nazis.[8]
31: As Germany plans for an attack on France, German Lieutenant-General Erich von Manstein proposes that Germany attack through the Ardennes rather than through Belgium - the expected attack route.

November 1939
1: Parts of Poland, including the Danzig Corridor, are annexed by Germany. Soviet Union annexes the eastern parts of occupied Poland to Ukraine and Belorussia.
3: Finland and Soviet Union again negotiate new borders. Finns mistrust Stalin's aims and refuse to give up territory breaking their defensive line.
4: The U.S. Neutrality Act is passed: the French and British may buy arms, but on a strictly cash basis. American isolationists find the act an "outrage."
4: A German physicist working at Siemens AG sends an anonymous letter to the British Embassy in Oslo offering England a report on present and future German weapons technologies.
8: Hitler escapes a bomb blast in a Munich beerhall, where he was speaking on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. British bombers coincidentally bomb Munich.
13: Negotiations between Finland and Soviet Union break down. Finns doubt that Germans and Russians have agreed to include Finland in the Soviet sphere of influence.
14: The Polish government-in-exile moves to London.
16: The first British civilian casualty occurs when a German bomber kills James Isbister in an air raid on Orkney in Scotland.
17: The IRA is blamed for bombs set off in London.
20: The Luftwaffe and German U-boats begin mining the Thames estuary.
23: Polish Jews are ordered to wear Star of David armbands.
24: Japan announces the capture of Nanning in southern China.
26: The Soviets stage the shelling of Mainila, Soviet artillery shells a field near the Finnish border, accusing Finns of killing Soviet troops.
29: The USSR breaks off diplomatic relations with Finland.
30: The Soviet Union attacks Finland in what would become known as the Winter War.

December 1939
1: Russia continues its war against Finland; Helsinki is bombed. In the first two weeks of the month, the Finns retreat to the Mannerheim line, an outmoded defensive line just inside the southern border with Russia.
2: British conscription is increased to cover men from 19 to 41.
5: The Russian invaders start heavy attacks on the Mannerheim line.
7: Italy again declares its neutrality. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark also proclaim their neutrality in the Russo-Finnish quarrel.
11: The Russians meet with several tactical defeats by the Finnish army.
12: The destroyer HMS Duchess sinks after a collision with the battleship HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland with the loss of 124 men.
13: The Battle of the River Plate off Montevideo, Uruguay. A British naval squadron attacks the Admiral Graf Spee
14: The Graf Spee retreats, badly damaged, into Montevideo harbor.
14: The USSR is expelled from the League of Nations in response to the Soviet invasion of Finland on November 30.[10]
15: Soviet Army assaults Taipale, Finland during the Battle of Taipale.
17: The Graf Spee is forced by International Law to leave Montevideo harbor; it is scuttled just outside the harbor. Its captain, Hans Langsdorff, is interned.
18: The first Canadian troops arrive in Europe.
18: Germany defeats Britain in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight
20: Captain Hans Langsdorff commits suicide.
27: The first Indian troops arrive in France.
28: Meat rationing begins in Britain.
29: As the year ends, the Finns continue to have successes in fighting the invaders, along the way capturing many men and vehicles.


January 1940
1: 10,000 Japanese troops launched a counter-attack in eastern Shanxi Province in China in an attempt to relieve the nearly-surrounded Japanese 36th Division.
2: The Russian offensive in Finland is halted by several Finnish victories; numerous Russian tanks are destroyed.
7: Rationing of basic foodstuffs is established in the UK.
A major Finnish victory at Suomussalmi is reported; one whole Russian division is eliminated, and again numbers of military vehicles are captured.
7: General Semyon Timoshenko took command of Soviet Army forces in Finland.
10: A German plane crashes in neutral Belgium. Onboard are the plans for Fall Gelb, these are discovered by the allies, causing a crisis situation.
16: Captured documents reveal Hitler's plans for the invasion of Scandinavia and a postponement of the invasion of France and the Low Countries until the Spring, when the weather is more compatible for an invasion.
17: The Russians are driven back in Finland and retaliate with heavy air attacks.
20: German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank Greek steamer Ekatontarchos Dracoulis off Portugal at 0415 hours, killing 6. U-44 had been hunting for Ekatontarchos Dracoulis for the past 6 hours.
21: A U-boat sinks British destroyer HMS Exmouth and its crew of 135 are all lost.
24: Reinhard Heydrich is appointed by Göring for the solution to the "Jewish Question."
27: Germany makes final plans for the invasion of Denmark and Norway

February 1940
1: The Japanese Diet announces a record high budget with over half its expenditures being military.
5: Britain and France decide to intervene in Norway to cut off the iron ore trade in anticipation of an expected German occupation and ostensibly to open a route to assist Finland. The operation is scheduled to start about March 20.
9: Erich von Manstein is placed in command of German XXXVIII Armour Corps, removing him from planning the French invasion.
10: USSR agrees to supply grain and raw materials to Germany in a new trade treaty.
14: British government calls for volunteers to fight in Finland.
15: The Soviet army captures Summa, an important defence point in Finland, thereby breaking through the Mannerheim Line.
Hitler orders unrestricted submarine warfare.
16: British destroyer HMS Cossack forcibly removes 303 British POWs from the German transport Altmark in neutral Norwegian territorial waters, sparking the Altmark Incident.
17: The Finns continue retreat from the Mannerheim line.
Manstein presents to Hitler his plans for invading France via the Ardennes forest.
21: General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst is placed in command of the upcoming German invasion of Norway.

March 1940
1: Adolf Hitler directs his generals in planning the invasion of Denmark and Norway.
3: Soviets begin attacks on Viipuri, Finland's second largest city.
5: Finland tells the Soviets they will agree to their terms for ending the war. The next day they send emissaries to Moscow to negotiate a peace treaty.
11: Meat rationing begins in Britain.
12: In Moscow, Finland signs a peace treaty with the Soviet Union after 105 days of conflict. The Finns are forced to give up significant territory in exchange for peace.
16: German air raid on Scapa Flow causes first British civilian casualties.
18: Hitler and Mussolini meet at the Brenner pass on the Austrian border; Benito Mussolini agrees with Hitler that Italy will enter the war "at an opportune moment".
21: Paul Reynaud becomes Prime Minister of France following Daladier's resignation the previous day.
28: Britain and France make a formal agreement that neither country will seek a separate peace with Germany.
29: The Russians want new territories. Molotov speaks to the Supreme Soviet, about "an unsettled dispute", the question of Romanian Bessarabia.
30: Japan establishes a puppet regime at Nanking, China, under Wang Jingwei.
30: British undertakes secret reconnaissance flights to photograph the targeted areas inside the Soviet Union in preparation for Operation Pike, utilising high-altitude, high-speed stereoscopic photography pioneered by Sidney Cotton.

April 1940
April: 22,000 Polish officers, Policemen, and others are massacred by the Soviet NKVD in the Katyn massacre.
3: The Ministerial Defence Committee, with the First Lord of the Admiralty (Winston Churchill) as its chair, replaces Normandy.
9: Germans land in several Norwegian ports and take Oslo; The Norwegian Campaign lasts 2 months. The British begin their Norwegian Campaign. Denmark surrenders.
10: Germans set up a Norwegian government under Vidkun Quisling, former minister of defence.
11: First Battle of Narvik, British destroyers and aircraft successfully make a surprise attack against a larger German naval force. A second attack on April 13 will also be a British success.
12: British troops occupy the Danish Faroe Islands.
14: British and French troops begin landing at Namsos, north of Trondheim in Norway.
14: The Enigma code is deciphered by the intelligence group at Bletchley Park in England for the first time.
15: British troops land at Harstad, near Narvik, Norway.
16: More British landings in Norway, notably north and south of Trondheim; the struggle for Trondheim continues until the 22nd.
27: British troops begin pull-out from central Norway, north and south of Trondheim.

May 1940
1: Allies begin evacuating Norwegian ports; the efforts will continue until June.
5: Norwegian government in exile established in London.
8: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain barely survives Norway Debate vote in the House of Commons.
9: Conscription in Britain extended to age 36.
10: Germany invades Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom upon the resignation of Neville Chamberlain. The United Kingdom invades Iceland.
Belgium declares a state of emergency. Churchill is called on to form a wartime coalition government.[2]
The massive German offensive against the Western front: The invasion of Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France begins. In a bold stroke, German paratroops capture the Belgian fort Eben Emael.
10: The Battle for The Hague become the first failed paratrooper attack in history as the Dutch quickly defeat the invaders.
11: Luxembourg is occupied.
Churchill offers the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, who is now living in the Netherlands, asylum in the United Kingdom; he declines.
12: The Belgians blow up all the bridges over the Meuse River to halt the German advance.
12: Battle of Hannut begins in Belgium.
13: Dutch government-in-exile established in London.
General Heinz Guderian's Panzer corps breaks through at Sedan, France.
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands flees to asylum in the United Kingdom.
Churchill's "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech in Commons.
13: The Dutch lose the Battle of the Grebbeberg to the Germans.
14: The creation of the Local Defence Volunteers; (the Home Guard) is announced by the new Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden. It is mostly composed of the elderly and retired.
Rotterdam is carpet-bombed by the Luftwaffe, causing many civilian deaths and tremendous damage. The Netherlands decide to surrender with the exception of Zealand.
Churchill asks President Roosevelt and Canada for aid in these dark days. Outlines of the new British coalition, which includes Labour, Liberal, and Conservative members, is made public.
14: The Dutch defeat the Germans at the Battle of the Afsluitdijk.
14: The Rotterdam Blitz successfully brings an end to the Battle of Rotterdam.
15: The capitulation of the Dutch army is signed.
German forces cross over the Meuse River.
16: Churchill visits Paris and hears that the French war is as good as over
16: The Belgian government leaves Belgium for Bordeaux in France, as the Belgian army retreats. It later moves to London.
17: Germans enter Brussels and also take Antwerp.
Paul Reynaud forms new French government, including 84-year old Marshal Pétain, the French hero of World War I.
18: Maxime Weygand replaces Maurice Gamelin as commander of the French armed forces
Antwerp captured.
18: Germans win the Battle of Zeeland.
19: Amiens in France is besieged by German troops; Rommel's forces surround Arras; other German forces reach Noyelles on the Channel.
19: The British complete their invasion of Iceland.
20: General Guderian's Panzer groups take Abbeville, threatening Allied forces in the area.
23: Oswald Mosley, leader of the pre-war British fascists, is jailed; he and his wife will spend the duration in prison.
24: The British make a final decision to cease operations in Norway.
25: The Allied forces, British and French alike, retreat to Dunkirk. Hitler orders a halt to the advance of Germans toward the Allied beachhead and allows Hermann Göring to use the Luftwaffe to attack. British R.A.F. defends the beachhead.
Sporadic Luftwaffe bombings in England.
Boulogne-sur-Mer surrenders to the Germans.
25: Soviet Union is preparing a total takeover in the Baltic States organizing and staging conflicts between the Baltic States and the USSR. Soviet government accuses Lithuania of kidnapping Soviet soldiers.
25-28: 86 Belgian civilians are murdered by German forces in the village of Vinkt
26: The Patrol vessel A4 arrives in Plymouth, evacuating the final 40 tonnes of national gold reserves out of Belgium.
26: Calais surrenders to the Germans.
Operation Dynamo, the Allied evacuation of 340,000 troops from Dunkirk, begins. The move will last until June 3 under ferocious bombardment by the Luftwaffe.
28: Belgium surrenders to the Germans; King Leopold III of Belgium surrenders and is interned.
30: Crucial British Cabinet meeting: Churchill wins a vote on continuing the war, in spite of vigorous arguments by Lord Halifax and Chamberlain.
31: The Japanese heavily bomb Nationalist capital Chungking, on the upper Yangtse.

June 1940
3: Last day of Operation Dynamo. 224,686 British and 121,445 French and Belgian troops have been evacuated.
Germans bomb Paris.
7: German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst sink the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and two destroyers off Norway; the British ships have had no air cover.
9: Red Army provokes conflicts in the Latvian border.
10: Italy declares war on France and the United Kingdom.
: Norway surrenders. King Haakon and his government have evacuated to Britain three days previously.
11: French government decamps to Tours.
13: Paris occupied by German troops; French government moves again, this time to Bordeaux.
14: Elements of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) based in Toulon carried out offensive operations against Italian targets along the Ligurian coast.
A total military blockade on the Baltic States by the Soviet Baltic Fleet. Soviet troops along the Baltic borders are ready to organise communist coups in the Baltic States. Soviet bombers shoot down a Finnish passenger airplane Kaleva flying from Tallinn to Helsinki and carrying three diplomatic pouches from the U.S. legations in Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki.
15: Eight hour ultimatum to surrender is given to Lithuania by the Soviets. President Smetona escapes from the country so the takeover is not possible to do in a formally legal way. Soviet troops enter Lithuania and attack Latvian border guards.
16: Philippe Pétain becomes premier of France upon the resignation of Reynaud's government.
The French sloop La Curieuse forced the Italian submarine Provano to surface and then sank it by ramming.
Soviet Union gives eight hour ultimatum to Latvia and Estonia to surrender.
17: Sinking of liner RMS Lancastria off St Nazaire while being used as a British troopship—Britain's worst maritime disaster since the Anglo-Dutch wars.
Soviet troops enter Latvia and Estonia.
18: General De Gaulle forms the Comité français de la Libération nationale, a French government in exile; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are occupied by the Soviet Union.
20: The French seek an armistice with the Italians
21: Franco-German armistice negotiations begin at Compiègne.
Elements of two Italian armies cross into France during Italian invasion of France.
21: The French battleship Lorraine opened fire on the Italian port of Bardia in Italian North Africa. During some of the last actions of the French against the Italians, French naval aircraft attacked Taranto and Livorno in mainland Italy.
21: Soviet-led coups in the Baltic States. In the only military resistance in Tallinn, 2 die on Estonian side and about 10 on the Soviet side.
22: Franco-German armistice signed.
24: Franco-Italian armistice signed.
25: France officially surrenders to Germany at 01:35.
26: The Soviet Union send an ultimatum demanding Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania.
27: Romanians propose negotiations. Molotov replies that the demands are land concessions or war. New ultimatum from the Soviets to the Romanians.
28: General De Gaulle recognised by British as leader of Free French.
Marshal Italo Balbo, Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa, is accidentally killed in a "friendly fire incident" by Italian anti-aircraft fire at Tobruk, Libya.
28: The Red Army occupies Romanian Bessarabia and the northern part of Bukovina.
28: The Luftwaffe bombs the demilitarised British Channel Islands, they had not been informed of the demilitarization. In Guernsey, 33 are killed and 67 injured, in Jersey, 9 are killed and many are injured.
28: Axis and Allied convoys clash south-west of Crete.
30: Germany invades the Channel Islands.

July 1940
1: Channel Islands occupation is completed by German forces.
: French government moves to Vichy.
: Marshal Rodolfo Graziani is named as Balbo's replacement in North Africa.
: The Italian Royal Air Force starts bombing the British Mandate of Palestine.
2: Hitler orders preparation of plans for invasion of Britain, code-named Operation Sea Lion.
2: Alderney surrenders to the Germans.
2: Brighton beach is closed to the public and mines, barbed wire and other defences are put into place.
3: Cardiff is bombed by the Luftwaffe for the first time.
3: The British attack and destroy the French navy, fearing that it would fall into German hands.
4: The destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria by the Royal Navy; Vichy French government breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain in protest. At Alexandria the French agree to demilitarise the battleship Lorraine and several smaller ships.
The Duke of Windsor (tainted by suspicion of pro-Nazism) is named governor of the Bahamas, putting him some distance from controversy.
4: Sark surrenders to the Germans. The Germans now control all of the British Channel Islands.
4: The German News Bureau released excerpts of the documents captured during the fall of France relating to Operation Pike, an Anglo-French plan to bomb Soviet oil fields. The compromised operation was subsequently aborted.
5: Two Belgian politicians, Camille Huysmans and Marcel-Henri Jaspar, form an unofficial government in exile in London, afraid that the official Belgian government, still in France, will surrender to the Germans.
9: A fairly indecisive naval skirmish happens off the coast of Italy. No lives are lost.
10: The Battle of Britain begins with Luftwaffe raids on channel shipping.
President Roosevelt asks Congress for huge increases in military preparations.
11: RAF raids on enemy emplacements in the Netherlands and on German munitions factories.
12: Luftwaffe attacks on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
14: Soviets organize rigged elections in the Baltic States. The parliaments will be in the control of the Soviets.
16: Adolf Hitler submits to his military the directive for the invasion of the United Kingdom, Operation Sea Lion.
18: In response to Mers-el-Kébir, the Vichy French Air Force bombs British-held Gibraltar.
19: General Johan Laidoner of Estonia is deported to Siberia.
19: Allied ships clash with two Italian light cruisers, sinking one in the Battle of Cape Spada.
21: Czechoslovak government in exile arrives in London.
In the Baltic States Soviet controlled parliaments request membership of USSR.
22: The Havana Conference meets; the nations of the Western hemisphere meet to discuss neutrality and economic cooperation.
Fumimaro Konoye is named the Prime Minister of Japan.
23: The British "Home Guard" is officially established, drawing on elderly men and those considered unable to serve in the regular armed forces.
25: All women and children are ordered to evacuate Gibraltar.
26: The United States of America activates the General Headquarters (GHQ), United States Army, which is designed to facilitate mobilization by supervising the organization and training of the army field forces within the continental United States, which is code named the Zone of the Interior.
30: The President of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, is arrested and deported to Russia by the Soviets.

August 1940
August: The so-called Spéngelskrich ("War of Pin-badges") begins in occupied Luxembourg as civilians wear patriotic lapel badges prominently, in defiance of Nazi attempts to "Germanize" the territory.
1: Hitler sets 15 September as the date for Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of Britain.
: Russian Foreign Minister Molotov reaffirms Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the Soviet Supreme while verbally attacking both Britain and the USA. He also asserts that the boundaries of Soviet Union are moved to the shores of the Baltic Sea.
: The Italian Royal Navy establishes its BETASOM submarine base in Bordeaux and joins the "Battle of the Atlantic."
1-4: Operation Hurry, the first of the Malta Convoys, is accomplished.
2: General Charles de Gaulle sentenced to death in absentia by a French military court.
: The USSR annexes Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.
3: The USSR formally annexes Lithuania.
4: Italian forces under General Guglielmo Nasi invade and occupy British Somaliland during the East African Campaign.
5: Failure to achieve air superiority and bad weather in the Channel results in a postponement of the invasion of Great Britain.
: The USSR formally annexes Latvia.
6: The USSR formally annexes Estonia.
11-15: Battle of Tug Argan fought in British Somaliland during the Italian invasion. To avoid encirclement, the British withdraw.
13: This is "Adler Tag" or "Eagle Day". Hermann Göring starts a two-week assault on British airfields in preparation for invasion. (For some German historians, this is the beginning of the "Battle of Britain.")
14: British scientist Sir Henry Tizard leaves for the United States on the Tizard Mission, giving over to the Americans a number of top secret British technologies including the magnetron, the secret device at the heart of radar. Radar is already proving itself in the defence of Britain.
15: RAF victories over the Luftwaffe continue, in a wide-ranging fight along the East coast. British fighter aircraft production begins to accelerate.
: Sinking of the Greek cruiser Elli by an Italian submarine on 15 August 1940 at the harbour of Tinos.
16: The Battle of Britain continues; Germans are hampered by poor aircraft range and British extensive use of RADAR.
: A first draft of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement by the US and Britain is made public.
17: Hitler declares a blockade of the British Isles.
18: Heavy fighting in the Battle of Britain; Germans suffering severe losses on bomber formations. Göring declares cowardice among his fighter pilots and orders them to closely guard the bombers, further restricting their capabilities.
19: Italian forces take Berbera, the capital of British Somaliland and the British defenders flee to Aden. The fall of Berbera completes the invasion of the British colony. By the end of the month, the Italians control British Somaliland and several towns and forts along the border with the Sudan and Kenya including Kassala, Gallabat, and Moyale.
20: Italy announces a blockade of British ports in the Mediterranean area.
: Churchill's speech "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" speech delivered to the House of Commons
20:Chinese Communists launch the Hundred Regiments Offensive against the Japanese in North China.
22: Germans are now shelling Dover and the nearby coastal area with long-range artillery.
24: German aircraft mistakenly bomb a church in Cripplegate, accidentally dictating the future shape of the Battle of Britain.
25: Churchill orders the bombing of Berlin in retaliation for the previous night's bombing of Cripplegate.
26: Both London and Berlin are bombed, Berlin for the first time.
30: The bombing of England continues; London is now bombed in retaliation for the bombing of Berlin; thus, the beginning of "the London Blitz."
: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini dictated the so-called Second Vienna Award which forced Romania to hand over the Northern Transylvania (including the entire Maramureş and part of Crişana) to Hungary.
31: Luftwaffe attacks on British airfields continue, as well as on London. Attacks on Radar installations prove ineffective.
31: Two Royal Navy destroyers are sunk off the Dutch coast in the so-called "Texel Disaster"

September 1940

Bombing of London.
1: Germany's Jews are ordered to wear yellow stars for identification.
2: The Destroyers for Bases Agreement is completed. Britain obtains 50 destroyers in exchange for giving the United States land grants in various British possessions for the establishment of US naval and air bases, on ninety-nine-year rent-free leases.
3: Hitler postpones the invasion of Britain, as the Luftwaffe fails to break the British defenses. Fears of the forthcoming invasion continue, however, to haunt Britain.
6: King Carol abdicates the Romanian throne in favour of his son Michael while control of the government is taken by Marshal Antonescu.
7: In one of the major misjudgements of the war, the Luftwaffe shifts its focus to London, away from the RAF airfields. Success may be measured only in the estimated 2,000 civilian dead. Other British cities are hit.
9: During the Western Desert Campaign, Italian colonial forces in Libya under General Mario Berti launch the invasion of Egypt. The first objective is to advance from defensive positions within Libya to the border with Egypt.
: Tel Aviv in the British Mandate of Palestine is bombed by Italian aircraft causing 137 deaths.
10: Operation Sea Lion is now set for 24 September.
: The Italian Air Corps is formed to fight in the Battle of Britain.
13: After re-taking Fort Capuzzo just inside Libya, Italian colonial forces cross the border and advance into Egypt. The Italians take the small port of Sollum, but the only resistance to the invasion is a light British screening force which withdraws as the Italians advance.
14: Operation Sea Lion is postponed until 27 September, the last day of the month with suitable tides for the invasion.
15: Massive German bombing flights on English cities; most are driven off. The RAF begins to claim victory in the Battle of Britain.
16: Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 introduces the first peacetime conscription (this time for men between 21 and 35) in United States history.
The Italian invasion of Egypt comes to a halt when approximately five Italian divisions set up defensively in a series of armed camps after advancing about 95 km to Sidi Barrani. The Italians never approach the main British positions at Mersa Matruh.
17: Decoded messages now reveal that Hitler has postponed Operation Sea Lion until further notice.
18: Radio Belgique, a French and Dutch language radio service of the BBC, begins broadcasting to occupied Belgium from its base in London.
22: Heavy convoy losses to U-boats in the Atlantic.
The Japanese occupy French Indochina; local French administrators become only figurehead authorities.
23: Free French and British forces attempt a landing at Dakar, French West Africa; Vichy French naval forces open fire sporadically for two days, and the expedition is called back.
24: Berlin suffers a large bombing raid by the RAF.
: In response to Dakar, the Vichy French Air Force bombs Gibraltar for the first time since 18 July.
25: Vichy French aircraft return to Gibraltar for a second day of bombings.
: Japanese 5th Division march into Hanoi, North Vietnam.
27: The Tripartite Pact is signed in Berlin by Germany, Italy, and Japan, promising mutual aid. An informal name, "Axis", emerges.
28: Vidkun Quisling becomes head of state in Norway.

October 1940
1-31: The United States Of America separates the Corps Areas established in 1921 to perform the administrative tasks of the various regions of the US from the four Field Armies that had been established in 1932.
1: Chinese Nationalist and Chinese Communists fight each other in southern China. Meanwhile Japanese forces have a setback at Changsha.
2: The bombing of London continues throughout the month.
3: Warsaw's Jews are directed to move into the Warsaw ghetto.
4: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass to discuss the prospects in the war.
7: Germany invades Romania to block the Soviet Army and get access to valuable oil fields.
9: Neville Chamberlain resigns from the House of Commons for health reasons; Winston Churchill is elected head of the Conservative Party.
12: Any German invasion of Britain is postponed until Spring 1941 at the earliest.
12: The Royal Navy clash with and defeat several Italian ships which attacked them after a convoy mission to Malta.
13: British civilians are still being killed by German bombs though the attacks have dropped off significantly.
15: Clarence Addison Dykstra becomes Director of Selective Service in the United States.
15: Mussolini and his closest advisers decide to invade Greece.
16: Draft registration begins in the United States.
19: The Italians bomb Bahrain.
20: Italian aircraft bomb Cairo, Egypt and American-operated oil refineries in the British Protectorate of Bahrain.
21: Liverpool is bombed for the 200th time.
23: Adolf Hitler meets with Franco at Hendaye, near the Spanish-French border; little is accomplished, and least of all Hitler's hope to convince Franco to enter the war on the Axis side.
24: After meeting with Franco, Hitler was going to Montoire where he met with Philippe Pétain took place signifying the start of organised French collaboration with the Nazi regime.
24: The Italian Air Corps sees its first action during the Battle of Britain.
25: Berlin and Hamburg are bombed heavily.
28: Italy issues ultimatum to Greece and Greek Prime Minister Metaxas replies: "So it is war". The Italian Royal Army launches attacks into Greece from Italian-held Albania and begins the Greco-Italian War. Hitler is angered at the initiative of his ally.
29: Very heavy convoy losses during this period as numbers of U-boats increase.
29: The first number drawings for US Selective Service Act draftees.
30: President Roosevelt, in the middle of an election campaign, promises not to send "our boys" to war.
31: The Warsaw District government moves all Jews living in Warsaw to the ghettos.

November 1940
1: Turkey declared neutrality in the Italo-Greek war.
2: The Italian advance into Greece continues. Vovousa is captured and Italian aircraft bomb Salonika.
5: President Roosevelt wins a third term. The British see the event as promising of more help from the US.
5: The HMS Jervis Bay, a merchant cruiser, is sunk on convoy duty, but much of the convoy escapes. The loss becomes a media event.
7: It becomes clear that Ireland will refuse to allow the United Kingdom to use its ports as naval bases.
8: The Battle of Elaia-Kalamas ends and the Italians end their futile offensive in Greece.
9: Neville Chamberlain dies.
11: British naval forces launch attack against Italian navy at Taranto. Swordfish bombers from HMS Illustrious damage three battleships, two cruisers and multiple auxiliary craft. The event secures British supply lines in the Mediterranean. The British success will be studied by Japanese military already preparing for an attack on Pearl Harbor.
12: Molotov meets Hitler and Ribbentrop in Berlin. New World order is under discussion. Molotov expresses Soviet interest in Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, Dardanelles and Bosporus, but Hitler talks along broad lines about worldwide spheres of influence between Russia, Germany, Italy and Japan.
12: In the Battle of Gabon, British forces finish wrestling central Africa from the Vichy French.
13: Molotov meets Hitler again asking acceptance to liquidate Finland. Hitler now resists every attempt to expand Soviet influence in Europe. He sees Britain as defeated and offers India to the Soviet Union.
: The Battle of Pindus ends in a Greek victory.
14: A heavy night raid on Coventry. Coventry Cathedral is destroyed and the medieval centre of the city is levelled.
: The Greek counter-offensive against the Italians begins.
15: The Soviet Union is invited to join Tripartite Pact and to share in the spoils of British Empire. Warsaw's Jewish ghetto is cordoned off from the rest of the city.
16: Churchill orders some British troops in North Africa to be sent to Greece, despite concerns by his military leaders that they are needed in the current campaign against the Italians in North Africa.
19: The Greeks continue to advance, and evict Italian troops from Greek soil.
20: Hungary signs the Tripartite Pact.
21: The Belgian government, in exile in Britain, declares war on Italy.
22: Fall of Korytsa to the Greeks.
23: Romania signs the Tripartite Pact.
24: The Slovak Republic signs the Tripartite Pact.
25: The Soviet Union gives her terms to join the Tripartite Pact including substantial new territorial gains for Russia.
29: A massive overnight bombing raid on Liverpool.
30: A large bombing raid on Southampton in southern England; the city is hit again the next night, followed by Bristol on 2 December, and Birmingham on the 3rd.

December 1940
1-8: Greek forces continue to drive the Italian armies back, capturing the cities of Pogradec, Sarandë, and Gjirokastër.
1: Bombing raids are exchanged throughout the month between Germany and Britain. First German bombs, then Britain's.
Joseph P. Kennedy, the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom is asked to resign by President Roosevelt after he gives a newspaper interview expressing the view that "Democracy is finished in England".
5: The RAF bombs Düsseldorf and Turin.
6-9: British and Indian troops of the Western Desert Force launch Operation Compass, an offensive against Italian forces in Egypt. The Italians have seven infantry divisions and the Maletti Group in fortified defensive positions. Initial attacks are launched against the five Italian camps around and south of Sidi Barrani. The camps are overrun, Italian General Pietro Maletti is killed, and the Maletti Group, the 1st Libyan Division, the 2nd Libyan Division, and the 4th Blackshirt Division are all but destroyed. The remaining Italian units in Egypt are forced to withdraw towards Libya.
8: Francisco Franco rules out Spanish entry into the war; the immediate result is that Hitler is forced to cancel an attack on Gibraltar.
12: In North Africa, over 39,000 Italians lost or captured in Egypt.
16: The first RAF night raid--on Mannheim, Germany.
: In North Africa, the British are in command at Sollum in Egypt and take Fort Capuzzo in Libya.
18: Hitler issues directive to begin planning for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
22-24: Bombing raids on Manchester.
28: The Greco-Italian War continues to go badly for the Italians and the Greeks hold roughly one-quarter of Albania.
: Italy requests military assistance from Germany against the Greeks.
29: Large German air-raids on London; St Paul's Cathedral is damaged.


January 1941
    •    1: Accounting of the previous night's bombing of London reveals that the Old Bailey, the Guildhall, and eight churches by Christopher Wren were destroyed or badly damaged. : RAF bombs aircraft factories in Bremen, Germany.
    •    2: German bombers, perhaps off course, bomb Irish Free State for the second night in a row.
    •    2-4: Bardia is bombed by British bombers and bombarded by naval vessels off shore.
    •    3: RAF bombers attacked Bremen and the Kiel Canal in Germany. The Kiel Canal Bridge suffered a direct hit and collapsed on Finnish ships Yrsa.
    •    5: Operation Compass: Australian troops of XIII Corps (the re-designated Western Desert Force) capture Italian-held Bardia and 45,000 Italian prisoners are taken. : Tobruk, the next target, is 70 miles away.
    •    6: The Greeks advance towards Klisura Pass.
    •    7: British and Commonwealth offensive in North Africa nears Tobruk; the airport is taken.
    •    10: Lend-Lease introduced into the U.S. Congress : German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement is signed. : German aircraft damage aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, which is heading for Malta. German Luftwaffe, it is now clear, has command of air over the Mediterranean. The attack is also the opening of Malta's agony over the next months. : Greek forces in Albania take the strategically important Klissoura pass.
    •    11: In London, 57 people are killed and 69 injured when a German bomb lands outside the Bank of England, demolishing the Underground station below and leaving a 120-foot crater.
    •    12: Operation Compass: British and Australian troops of XIII Corps prepare for the assault on Italian-held Tobruk.
    •    13: Heavy Luftwaffe night raid on Plymouth.
    •    14: First use of "V for Victory" by Victor de Laveleye on the BBC's Belgian service, Radio Belgique[2]
    •    15: The rivalry between Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists becomes more evident; large numbers of the latter are forced to give up their arms, reluctantly of course.
    •    16: British forces start the first attacks of their East African counter-offensive, on Italian-held Ethiopia, from Kenya : German bombers pound Valletta, Malta, and the HMS Illustrious is hit again.
    •    17: The Battle of Koh Chang ended in a decisive victory for the Vichy French naval forces during the French-Thai War. : Molotov meets German Ambassador Schulenburg in Moscow. The Soviets are surprised that they have not received any answer from Germany to their offer to join the Axis (November 26, 1940). Schulenburg replies that it has to be first discussed with Italy and Japan.
    •    18: Air raids on Malta are increasing in focus and intensity.
    •    19: The 4th and 5th Indian Divisions continue the British counter-offensive in East Africa, attacking Italian-held Eritrea from the Sudan. : Hitler and Mussolini meet at Berchtesgaden; Hitler agrees to provide aid in North Africa.
    •    21: Operation Compass: British and Australian troops of XIII Corps complete capture of Italian-held Tobruk. : There are reports that Romanian Fascist ("Iron Guards") are executing Jews in Bucharest.
    •    23: HMS Illustrious, heavily damaged, leaves Malta for repairs in Alexandria. : Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler
    •    24: British forces in Kenya continue the East African counter-offensive, attacking Italian Somaliland
    •    29: Death of the Greek dictator, Ioannis Metaxas.
    •    30: British forces in North Africa take Derna; 100 miles west of Tobruk.
    •    31: Indian 4th Division flanked and then captured Agordat, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. 1,000 Italian troops and 43 field guns were captured.

February 1941
    •    1: Admiral Husband Kimmel is appointed the Commander of the US Navy in the Pacific.
    •    3: Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel is appointed head of "German Army troops in Africa." This unit is later to be officially designated as the "Afrika Korps." : Germany forcibly restores Pierre Laval to office in Vichy.
    •    7: Operation Compass: After several days of desperate fighting, a flying column of XIII Corps called Combe Force cuts off the retreating Italian 10th Army during the Battle of Beda Fomm. The Italians are unable to break through the small blocking force and the British accept the surrender of roughly 130,000 Italians in and to the south of Benghazi.
    •    8: US House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease bill.
    •    9: Mussolini is informed that German reinforcements are on the way to North Africa. : British forces reach El Agheila, Cyrenaica. : British battleships shell Genoa and British aircraft attack Livorno. : Churchill again pleads with the US: "give us the tools."
    •    10: Malta's critical period: now through March, it is under heavy daily attack.
    •    11: Elements of the Afrika Korps start to arrive in Tripoli, Tripolitania. : British forces enter Italian Somaliland.
    •    14: Rommel arrives in Tripoli. : Afrika Korps starts to move eastward towards the advance British positions at El Agheila. The British in North Africa have been weakened by the transfer of some troops to Greece.
    •    15: Deportation of Austrian Jews to ghettos in Poland begins.
    •    19: The start of the "three nights Blitz" of Swansea, South Wales. Over these three nights of intensive bombing, Swansea town centre is almost completely obliterated.
    •    20: German and British troops confront each other for the first time in North Africa—at El Agheila in western Libya.
    •    21: German forces move through Bulgaria toward the Greek front.
    •    24: German U-boat offensive in the Atlantic is now increasingly successful. : Admiral Darlan is appointed the head of the Vichy government in France.
    •    25: The British submarine "Upright" sinks the Italian cruiser "Armando Diaz" in one of the numerous sea battles in the North African campaign. : Mogadishu, the capital of Italian Somaliland, is captured by British forces during the East African Campaign.
    •    28: RAF planes bomb Asmara, Eritrea.

March 1941

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease bill to give aid to Britain and China (1941)
    •    1: Hitler gives orders for the expansion of Auschwitz prison camp, to be run by Commandant Rudolf Höss.
    •    4: British commandos carry out attack on oil facilities at Narvik in Norway. : British military force in Libya is thinned down as some men are sent to assist the Greeks in their emerging battle with approaching German troops. : Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia agrees to join the Axis pact.
    •    7: First British troops land in Greece, at Piraeus.
    •    8: Another bombing of London, notable because Buckingham Palace is hit.
    •    9: The Italian Spring Offensive in the Albanian front begins.
    •    10: British and Italian troops meet in a brief conflict in Eritrea. : Portsmouth suffers heavy casualties after another night of heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe.
    •    11: United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act (now passed by the full Congress) allowing Britain, China, and other allied nations to purchase military equipment and to defer payment until after the war.
    •    12: German Panzer tanks arrive in North Africa providing heavy armour for the first major German offensive.
    •    13: The Luftwaffe strikes with a large force at Glasgow and the shipping industry along the River Clyde.
    •    17: Huge convoy losses in mid-Atlantic this week. : The United States of America converts its Corps Areas to Defense Commands, with the term Corps reassigned as an intermediate field command of a Field Army.
    •    19: Worst bombing of London so far this year, with heavy damage from incendiary bombs; Plymouth and Bristol are bombed again.
    •    20: The Italian Spring Offensive is called off, after heavy losses and virtually no progress.
    •    21: The Yugoslav cabinet resigns in protest against Prince Paul's pact with the Nazis. Street demonstration occur, expressive of a deep dislike for Germany.
    •    24: Rommel attacks and reoccupies El Agheila, Libya in his first offensive. The British retreat and within three weeks are driven back to Egypt.
    •    25: Italian MTMs of the Decima MAS sink the heavy cruiser HMS York , a large tanker (the Norwegian Pericles), another tanker and a cargo ship in Suda Bay, Crete.
    •    27: Crown Prince Peter becomes Peter II of Yugoslavia and takes control of Yugoslavia after an army coup overthrows the pro-German government of the Prince Regent. : Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor. : Hitler orders his military leaders to plan for the invasion of Yugoslavia. One result of this decision will be a critical time delay in the invasion of Soviet Union. : British forces advancing from the Sudan win the decisive Battle of Keren in Eritrea. : Battle of Cape Matapan: the British navy meets an Italian fleet off southern Greece. The battle continues until the 29th.
    •    31: The Afrika Korps continues the German offensive in North Africa; Mersa Brega, north of El Agheila, is taken.

April 1941
  •    1: British retreat after the losses at El Agheila, Libya. Rommel is surprised, then decides to continue his offensive. : During this month the heavy bombing of British cities continues, and convoy losses continue heavy. : In Iraq, pro-German Rashid Ali and other members of the "Golden Square" stage a military coup d'état and overthrow the regime of the pro-British Regent 'Abd al-Ilah. Rashid Ali names himself Chief of a "National Defence Government."
    •    2: After taking Agedabia, Rommel decides to take all of Libya and moves his troops toward Benghazi. All of Cyrenaic (Libya) seems ready for the taking.
    •    3: A pro-Axis government is installed in Iraq. : Bristol, England, suffers another heavy air attack. : British troops take Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, from the Italian armies. : Rommel takes Benghazi, Libya; Tobruk will remain a threat for the next seven months.
    •    4: Rommel is now about 200 miles east of El Agheila, heading for Tobruk and Egypt. : An Atlantic convoy suffers almost 50% losses to U-boat campaign.
    •    6: Forces of Germany, Hungary, and Italy, moving through Romania and Hungary, initiate the invasions of Yugoslavia and Greece. : The Italian Army is driven out from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. : The northern wing of Rommel's forces take Derna, on the Libyan coast. The southern wing moves toward Mechili, and takes it on the 8th.
    •    7: The Luftwaffe begins a two-day assault on Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Hitler is infuriated by the Yugoslav resistance.
    •    8: The Germans take Salonika, Greece.
    •    10: Greenland is occupied by the United States. With the approval of a "free Denmark", the US will build naval and air bases as counters to the U-boat war. : While still being invaded, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is split up by Germany and Italy. The Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH) is established under Ante Pavelić and his Ustaša. : Germans encircle the port of Tobruk, Libya, opening the siege; some of Rommel's forces move east to take Fort Capuzzo and Sollum, on the border with Egypt. : The destroyer USS Niblack attacks a German U-boat that had just sunk a Dutch freighter. The Niblack was picking up survivors of the freighter when it detected the U-boat preparing to attack. The Niblack attacked with depth charges and drove off the U-boat.
    •    11: Though still a "neutral" nation, the United States begins sea patrols in the North Atlantic. : Heavy Luftwaffe raids on Coventry and Birmingham, England.
    •    12: Belgrade, Yugoslavia, surrenders. : The Germans defeat commonwealth forces at the Battle of Vevi.
    •    13: Malta is bombed again; it continues to be a thorn in the side of German supply movements in the Mediterranean. : Japan and the Soviet Union sign a neutrality pact. : In Iraq, a small contingent of British reinforcements are air-lifted to RAF Shaibah.
    •    14: Rommel attacks Tobruk, but is forced to turn back. Other attacks, also failures, occur on the 16th and 30th. : LSSAH captures the strategic Kleisoura Pass and begins cutting the line of retreat for the Greek army in Albania
    •    15: British destroyers intercept an Afrika Korps convoy and sink all five transports and the three covering Italian destroyers.
    •    16: A heavy Luftwaffe raid on Belfast, Northern Ireland. : Germans continue the invasion southward into Yugoslavia; they cut off the Greek army in Albania, which had had notable success against the Italians in January.
    •    17: Yugoslavia surrenders. A government in exile is formed in London. King Peter escapes to Greece.
    •    18: Greek Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide; the British plan the major evacuation of Greece. : In Iraq, in accordance with the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty, British forces from India start to land at Basra.
    •    19: London suffers one of the heaviest air raids in the war; St. Paul's is mildly damaged but remains closed; other Wren churches are heavily damaged or destroyed.
    •    21: With their retreat cut off by the German advance, 223,000 Greek soldiers of the Greek army in Albania surrender.
    •    22: The British, both military and civilian, begin to evacuate Greece.
    •    23: Greek government is evacuated to Crete, which Churchill is determined to defend.
    •    24: British and Australian forces evacuate from Greece to Crete and Egypt. : Plymouth suffers the third night of heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe.
    •    25: Rommel wins an important victory at Halfaya Pass, close to the Egyptian border. : Axis forces defeat commonwealth forces at Thermopylae after Australian general George Vasey staunchly claims that they will not be beaten.
    •    26: Rommel attacks the Gazala defence line and crosses into Egypt; Tobruk continues to hold however.
    •    27: Athens is occupied by German troops. Greece surrenders. : Hurricane fighter planes are delivered as important reinforcements for besieged Malta.
    •    30: Rommel is ordered to cease attacks on Tobruk after another failure. : In Iraq, Iraqi armed forces occupy the plateau to the south of the RAF Habbaniya air base and inform the base commander that all flying should cease immediately.

May 1941
German paratroopers land in Crete
    •    1: Seven nights of bombing of Liverpool by the Luftwaffe begins, resulting in widespread destruction.
    •    2: British forces at RAF Habbaniya launch pre-emptive air strikes against Iraqi forces besieging them and the Anglo-Iraqi War begins.
    •    3: Belfast, Northern Ireland, experiences another heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe. : British forces in Ethiopia begin the investment of Amba Alagi where Italian forces under the Duke of Aosta have taken up defensive positions.
    •    5: Five years from the day he was forced to flee, Emperor Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa, his capital, in triumph.
    •    6: With much of the Iraqi air force destroyed and facing regular bombardment themselves, the Iraqi ground forces besieging RAF Habbaniya withdraw. : The Luftwaffe arranges to send a small force to Iraq.
    •    7: Between Habbaniya and Fallujah, two Iraqi columns are caught in the open and attacked by roughly forty British aircraft; the Iraqis suffer heavy casualties.
    •    8: Heavy convoy losses in the Atlantic continue; however, one U-boat (U-110) is captured by the British navy and another copy of the "Enigma" machine is discovered and saved. It will help to turn the fortunes in the Atlantic battle. : Bombing of Nottingham by the Luftwaffe.
    •    9: A Japanese brokered peace treaty signed in Tokyo ends the French-Thai War.
    •    10: Rudolf Hess is captured in Scotland after bailing out of his plane; his self-appointed mission was to make peace with the United Kingdom. : The United Kingdom's House of Commons is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid. Other targets are Hull, Liverpool, Belfast, and the shipbuilding area of the River Clyde in Scotland. This is close to the end of the Blitz, as Germany shifts its focus toward Soviet Union and the East.
The "Strike of the 100,000" begins in Liège in Belgium on the anniversary of the German invasion of 1940. It soon spreads across the whole province until nearly 70,000 are workers are on strike.
    •    12: The RAF bombs several German cities, including Hamburg, Emden, and Berlin. : The Soviet Union recognizes Rashid Ali's "National Defence Government" in Iraq.
    •    13: Yugoslav Army Colonel Draža Mihailović summons up the "Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland" which mostly consists of Serbs, but also includes Slovenes, Bosnians, and Croats. Mihailović trecks from Bosnia into central Serbia, Ravna Gora, and issues an uprising call promising a struggle against the occupiers and the restoration of the Yugoslavian Monarchy. At this point, Josip Broz Tito and the Yugoslav Partisans are aligned with the Soviet Union which is still friendly with Germany. : The bulk of the German "Flyer Command Iraq" (Fliegerführer Irak) arrives in Mosul to support the Iraqi government of Rashid Ali.
    •    14: The RAF is authorized to act against German aircraft in Syria and on Vichy French airfields.
    •    15: First Civilian Public Service camp opens for conscientious objectors in the United States.
    •    16: Rommel defeats a counter-attack, "Brevity", at Halfaya Pass. The two sides trade alternating control of Fort Capuzzo and Halfaya Pass.
    •    17: British forces in the Habbaniya area advance on Iraqi-held Fallujah and, in five days fighting, push the Iraqis out.
    •    18: The Duke of Aosta, Viceroy of Italian East Africa, surrenders his forces at Amba Alagi.
    •    20: German paratroopers land on Crete; the battle for Crete will continue for seven days. : The German military mission to Iraq, Special Staff F (Sonderstab F), is created to support of "The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East. Sonderstab F is to include Fliegerführer Irak and other elements already in Iraq.
    •    21: The US merchantman SS Robin Moor is sunk by German submarine U-69. The incident startles the nation, and President Roosevelt shortly announces an "unlimited national emergency." : The Italian Viceroy in Ethiopia surrenders. Remnants of Italian troops keep on fighting.
    •    22: Iraqi forces unsuccessfully counter-attack the British forces in Fallujah and are rebuffed.
    •    23: German dictator Adolf Hitler issues "Fuhrer Directive No. 30" in support of "The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East", his "natural ally against England."
    •    24: British battlecruiser HMS Hood is sunk by a powerful salvo from German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic. : The Greek government leaves Crete for Cairo.
    •    26: In the North Atlantic, Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS Ark Royal fatally cripple the Bismarck in torpedo attack.
    •    27: The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic, after evasive tactics, and a damaged steering system which forced it into an endless series of circular movements. : The British forces from the Habbaniya area begin an advance on Baghdad and, within four days, approach the city from the west and from the north. : Twelve Italian aircraft arrive at Mosul to join Fliegerführer Irak.
    •    28: British and Commonwealth forces begin to evacuate Crete. : By this date, it is clear that operation "Brevity" has failed.
    •    29: Members of the German military mission flee Iraq.
    •    30: Rashid Ali and his supporters flee Iraq.
    •    31: Heavy Luftwaffe bombing on neutral Ireland's capital; numerous civilian casualties. : The Mayor of Baghdad surrenders the city to British forces and ends the Anglo-Iraqi War.

June 1941
    •    1: Commonwealth forces complete the withdrawal from Crete. : Rationing of clothes begins in the United Kingdom.
    •    2: Tuskegee Airmen begin with the formation of the 99th Fighter Squadron.
    •    4: Kaiser William II, former German Emperor, dies in the Netherlands.
    •    5: The Ecuadorian–Peruvian War conflict begins in South America.
    •    6: More British fighter planes are delivered to Malta; Luftwaffe attacks go on.
    •    8: Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon are invaded by Australian, British, Free French, and Indian forces.
    •    9: Finland initiates mobilisation, preparations against possible attack of Soviet aggressor. : The British and Australians cross the Litani River, beating back Vichy French forces. During this battle, Moshe Dayan, leading an Australian unit, loses his eye. He becomes famous when his story is published a day later.
    •    10: Assab, the last Italian-held port in East Africa, falls.
    •    13: The Australians continue to fight through the Vichy French defenses and advance towards Beirut, winning the Battle of Jezzine. : Soviets begin deporting Lithuanians to Siberia. Deportations continue for five days and total 35,000 Lithuanians, among them 7000 Jews.
    •    14: All German and Italian assets in the United States are frozen. : 10,100 people from Estonia, 15,000 from Latvia and 34,000 (or 35,000, starting a day earlier) from Lithuania are deported to Siberia by the Soviet Union.
    •    15: British Operation Battleaxe attempts and fails to relieve the Siege of Tobruk. The British are heavily defeated at Halfaya Pass nicknamed "Hell-fire pass".
    •    16: All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.
    •    22: Germany invades the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa, a three-pronged operation aimed at Leningrad, Moscow, and the southern oil fields of the Caucasus, ending the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. Romania invades south-western border areas of the Soviet Union in Europe on the side of Germany. : British general in Libya/Egypt Wavell is replaced by General Auchinleck. : June Uprising against the Soviet Union in Lithuania.
    •    23: In the late evening, Hitler first arrives at his headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia, codenamed "Wolf's Lair" (Wolfsschanze). Between this date and November 20, 1944, Hitler will have spent 800 days at Wolf's Lair. : German troops massacre 42 at Ablinga
    •    24: German forces enter Vilnius. Lithuanian militia men go on shooting spree, killing dozens of Jews on the streets, with civilian spectators cheering them on. The Germans kidnap 60 Jewish "Hostages" and 30 Poles. Only 6 return.[4]
    •    26: Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union. : The Soviet Union bombs Helsinki. Finland pronounces a state of war between Finland and Soviet Union. Continuation war is started.
    •    28: Italian-occupied Albania declares war on the Soviet Union. : Huge German encirclement of 300,000 Red Army troops near Minsk and Białystok.
    •    29: Finnish and German troops begin Operation Arctic Fox against the Soviet Union : Nuremberg Laws imposed on Jews of Lithuania and Vilnius in particular.[4]
    •    31: Ecuadorian–Peruvian War ends.

July 1941
    •    1: General Auchinleck takes over from General Wavell in North Africa. : The British win the Battle of Palmyra against the French in the middle east. : All American men over 21 are required to register for the draft. : German troops occupy Latvia's capital, Riga, on the way to Leningrad.
    •    2: Ponary Massacre killings begin, with the shooting of Soviet POWs captured during Operation Barbarossa, which began two weeks earlier, and with the deportation of hundreds of Jews from Vilnius to Soviet dug fuel tank pits near the Ponariai suburb of Vilnius, where they are shot or buried alive. Reports by survivors are accepted as hallucinations. The mass deportations and shooting of Jews continued until 1943. : Hungarian troops take over Stanislawow and other towns in what is now the Ukraine.
    •    3: Stalin announces a "scorched earth policy". : The United States of America elevates its General Headquarters, United States Army in order to command and plan for military operations within the Zone Of The Interior. : Italian General Pietro Gazzera surrenders the remnants of his forces in the Jimma area. : British troops employ brave and risky flanking tactics to win the Battle of Deir ez-Zor.
    •    4: Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers, committed by German troops in captured Polish city of Lwów. : Vilna Ghetto first Judenrat established.
    •    5: British Government rules out possibility of negotiated peace with Nazi Germany. : British torpedo planes sink an Italian destroyer at Tobruk; on the 20th, two more are sunk. : German troops reach the Dnieper River.
    •    7: British and Canadian troops in Iceland are replaced by Americans.
    •    8: Yugoslavia, a country formed by the Versailles treaty, is dissolved by the Axis into its component parts; especially important will be Croatia, with a pro-Axis government. : The German armies isolate Leningrad from the rest of Soviet Union. : Britain and the USSR sign a mutual defence agreement, promising not to sign any form of separate peace agreement with Germany.
    •    9: Vitebsk (Belarus) is captured; this opens the battle of Smolensk, an important communications centre, considered by the German high command to be "the gateway to Moscow."
    •    10: Guderian's Panzers take Minsk; the Germans advance farther into the Ukraine. : Units of the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia begin to arrive. A legion from the Independent State of Croatia is part of the Italian corps.
    •    12: The Vichy French surrender in Syria. : Assistance Pact signed between the United Kingdom and the USSR.
    •    13: Montenegro starts an uprising against the Axis Powers shortly after the Royalists in Serbia begin theirs. Questionable Communist plans instigate parallel uprising and civil war.
    •    15: The Red Army starts a counter-attack against the Wehrmacht near Leningrad. : Argentia naval air base is set up in Newfoundland; it will prove an important transfer station for the Allies for some years.
    •    16: German Panzers under Guderian reach Smolensk, increasing the risk to Moscow.
    •    17: Luftwaffe air attacks on Malta continue.
    •    19: The "V-sign", displayed most notably by Churchill, is unofficially adopted as the Allied signal, along with the motif of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
    •    20: Heinrich Himmler visits Soviet POWs near Minsk and Lublin and decides to build the concentration camp near Lublin known as Majdanek concentration camp.
    •    21: The Luftwaffe strikes heavily at Moscow.
    •    26: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States. : Germans order a Judenrat established in Stanislawow, Galicia. It is headed by Israel Seibald.
    •    28: Japanese troops occupy southern French Indochina. The Vichy French colonial government is allowed by the Japanese to continue to administer Vietnam. French repression continues. The Vichy French also agree to the occupation by the Japanese of bases in Indochina. : The Germans push against Smolensk, and in the meantime solidify their presence in the Baltic states; native Jewish populations of the Baltic states are being exterminated.
    •    31: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS general Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question." : The Japanese naval ministry accuses the United States of intruding into their territorial waters at Sukumo Bay, and then fleeing. No evidence is offered to prove this allegation.[citation needed] : Lewis B. Hershey succeeds Clarence Dykstra as Director of the Selective Service System in the United States.

August 1941
    •    1: The US announces an oil embargo against "aggressors." : Japanese occupy Saigon, Vietnam. : The Germans declare Galicia as the fifth district of the Generalgouvernement.[5]
    •    2: All civilian radios in Norway confiscated by the German occupation.[1] : SS Commander Hans Krüger orders a list of Stanislawow Jewish leadership and higher society, who are subsequently tortured and murdered the next day. This is the first recorded murder of the "one bullet one Jew" method in Galicia.
    •    5: German armies trap Red Army forces in Smolensk pocket and take 300,000 soldiers; Orel is taken.
    •    6: Germans take Smolensk. : American and British governments warn Japan not to invade Thailand.
    •    9: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at NS Argentia, Newfoundland. The Atlantic Charter is created, signed, and released to the world press.
    •    11: Malta is relieved by a convoy. : Chungking, the nominal capital of Nationalist China located far up the Yangtze River, suffers several days of heavy bombing.
    •    12: Hitler, against the advice of his generals, shifts some forces from the Moscow front to Leningrad and the Crimean offensives.
    •    18: Adolf Hitler orders a temporary halt to Nazi Germany's systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and handicapped due to protests. However, graduates of the Action T4 operation were then transferred to concentration camps, where they continued in their trade.
    •    20: German 250th Infantry Division, nicknamed "Blue Division" and consisted of Spanish volunteers, was formed and began to move to Poland.
    •    22: German forces close in on Leningrad; the citizens continue improvising fortifications.
    •    25: British and Soviet troops invade Iran to save the Abadan oilfields and the important railways and routes to Soviet Union for the supply of war material.
    •    27: Another U-boat is forced to surface off Ireland and its Enigma machine is captured.
    •    28: German forces with the help of Estonian volunteers take Tallinn from Soviets.
    •    30: The Shetland bus begins operations
    •    31: The first signs appear that a Leningrad "siege" is beginning. : "The Great Provokation" in Vilnius - German forces stage an attack on their soldiers by Jews, leading to a 'retaliation' mass arrest of the residents of old Jewish quarter, to be murdered at Ponary, three days later.

September 1941
    •    1: With the assistance of Finnish armies in the North, Leningrad is now completely cut off. : A pro-German Government of National Salvation formed in the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia under Milan Nedić. : : All Jews under German rule must wear the yellow star of David badge with Jew clearly written in it, are forbidden to live with or marry non-Jews, and are forbidden to leave their towns without written consent, in accordance with the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. The decree, signed by Hydrich, is to take affect from September 19th.
    •    3: Murder of all 3700 residents of the old Jewish quarter in Vilnius begins at the Ponary death site along with 10 members of the Judenrat. First written testimony of occurrences at Ponary by survivor[4] : Vilna Ghetto Jews required to hand over any gold or silver.
    •    4: The USS Greer becomes the first United States warship fired upon by a German U-boat in the war, even though the United States is a neutral power. Tension heightens between the two nations as a result. The US is now committed to convoy duties between the Western Hemisphere and Europe.
    •    5: Germany occupies Estonia.
    •    6: 6000 Jews shot at Ponary, a day after the order to form the Vilna Ghetto was issued.
    •    7: Berlin is heavily hit by RAF bombers.
    •    8: Siege of Leningrad begins-a reasonable date to start measuring "the 900 days." German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad; Stalin orders the Volga Deutsche deported to Siberia.
    •    10: German armies now have Kiev completely surrounded.
    •    11: Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Navy to shoot on sight if any ship or convoy is threatened.
    •    15: "Self-government" of Estonia, headed by Hjalmar Mäe, is appointed by German military administration. : "Moving Aktion" in Vilna Ghetto. Of 3,500 Jews "moved" between ghetto sections, on 550 arrive. The remaining 2,950 Jews are shot at the Ponary massacre death site.
    •    16: Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran is forced to resign in favour of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran under pressure from the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
    •    19: German capture of Kiev is now formal. The Red Army forces have suffered many casualties in defending this the chief city in the Soviet Ukraine.
    •    26: The US Naval Command orders an all-out war on Axis shipping in American waters.
    •    27: The National Liberation Front (EAM) is founded in Greece.
    •    28: German SS troops kill over 30,000 Jews at Babi Yar on the outskirts of Kiev, Soviet Ukraine, in response to sabotage efforts which the Germans attributed to local Jews. : The Drama Uprising against the Bulgarian occupation in northern Greece begins. It is swiftly put down, with ca. 3,000 executed as reprisals.

October 1941
    •    1: Majdanek concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager Lublin) and later to become extermination camp is opened. : Vilna Ghetto Yom Kippur Aktions (German annihilation operations) begin. In four separate incidents 3,900 Jews are kidnapped, shot and killed at the Ponary massacre death site, continued with an additional 2,000 Jews kidnapped and killed there, in the next two days.
    •    2: Operation Typhoon - German "Central" forces begin an all-out offensive against Moscow. Leading the defense of the capital is General Georgi Zhukov, already a Hero of Soviet Union for his command in the conflict against the Japanese in the Russian Far East and at Leningrad.
    •    3: Mahatma Gandhi urges his followers to begin a passive resistance against British rule in India.
    •    7: Heavy RAF night bombings of Berlin, the Ruhr, and Cologne, but with heavy losses.
    •    8: In their invasion of the southern Soviet Union, Germany reaches the Sea of Azov with the capture of Mariupol. However, there are signs that the invasion is beginning to bog down as rainy weather creates muddy roads for both tanks and men.
    •    10: German armies encircle about 660,000 Red Army troops near Vyasma (east of Smolensk); some make a glowing prediction of the end of the war.
    •    12: HMS Ark Royal delivers a squadron of Hurricane fighter planes to Malta. : Bloody Sunday at Stanislawow, 8,000-12,000 Jews were rounded up and shot in pits, by SIPO (Ukrainian police) together with German uniformed SS men. Dr. Tenenbaum of the Judenrat heroically refuses the offer of exemption and is shot along with the others.
    •    13: Germans attempt another drive toward Moscow as the once muddy ground hardens.
    •    14: Temperatures fall further on the Moscow front; heavy snows follow and immobilize German tanks.
    •    15: The Germans drive on Moscow.
    •    16: Soviet Union government begins move eastward to Samara, a city on the Volga, but Joseph Stalin remains in Moscow. The citizens of Moscow frantically build tank traps and other fortifications for the coming siege. : Vilna Ghetto Aktion. 3,000 Jews killed.
    •    17: The destroyer USS Kearney is torpedoed and damaged by U-568 near Iceland, killing eleven sailors. They are the first American military casualties of the war. : The government of Japanese prime minister Prince Fumimaro Konoye collapses, leaving little hope for peace in the Pacific.
    •    18: Red Army troop reinforcements arrive in Moscow from Siberia; Stalin is assured that the Japanese will not attack the USSR from the East. : General Hideki Tōjō becomes the 40th Prime Minister of Japan.
    •    19: An official "state of siege" is announced in Moscow; the city is placed under martial law.
    •    19: German occupied Luxembourg declared "Judenrein" ("Cleansed of Jews")
    •    20: Lt. Col. Fritz Hotz, the German commander in Nantes, is killed by Resistance; 50 hostages are shot in reprisal. The incident will become a model for future occupation policies.
    •    21: New Zealand troops land in Egypt and take over Fort Capuzzo. : Negotiations in Washington between the US and Japan seem headed toward failure.
    •    22: Odessa Massacre begins and continues for two days. 25,000 to 34,000 Jews are lead in a long procession and are shot and killed in an antitank ditch, or burnt alive after crowded into four buildings. : The massacre began after, that day, a delayed bomb planted by the Soviets kills 67 people at the Romanian headquarters, including the Romanian commander General Glogojeanu. : 35,000 Jews are expelled to the Slobodka Ghetto and are left in freezing conditions for 10 days. Many perish in the cold.
    •    23: Heavy desert fighting in Libya as Rommel thwarts "Operation Crusader" near Tobruk.
    •    24: In Ukraine, the important mining and industrial centre of Kharkov falls to the German Army Group South forces. : Vilna Ghetto Gelbschein I Aktion. 5,500 Jews including 140 old or paralyzed people killed.
    •    27: German Army Group South forces reach Sevastopol in the Crimea, but the tanks of the "Northern" forces are slowed or stopped entirely by mud. The leading tanks are on the outskirts of Moscow.
    •    28: Bolekhiv first aktion massacre - 1,000 of the leading Jews rounded up by list, tortured, and on the following day 800 of the surviving Jews, were shot or buried alive at a nearby forest. The re-discovered atrocities and testimony in 1996 lead to Patrick Desbois research on the German method of "One Bullet, One Jew" extermination in 1941 and 1942.
    •    29: Vilna Ghetto II liquidated. 2,500 Jews killed.
    •    30: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
    •    31: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by Erich Topp's U-552 near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors. It is the first loss of an American "neutral warship."

November 1941
    •    1: President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces that the U.S. Coast Guard will now be under the direction of the U.S. Navy, a transition of authority usually reserved only for wartime.
    •    2: Political conflict in Yugoslavia as leftists under Tito (Josip Broz) are in competition with the more conservative Serbs under Draža Mihailović.
    •    3: Germans take Kursk. : Vilna Ghetto Gelbschein III Aktion. 1,200 Jews killed.
    •    6: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule (the first time was earlier that year on July 2). He states that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, that the Germans have lost 4.5 million soldiers (a gross exaggeration) and that Soviet victory was near.
    •    7: Heavy RAF night bombings of Berlin, the Ruhr, and Cologne, but with heavy losses.
    •    9: Force K the light cruisers HMS Penelope and HMS Aurora and destroyers HMS Lively and HMS Lance sank 7 merchant ships, a tanker, and 1 destroyer during the Battle of the Duisburg Convoy.
    •    12: Battle of Moscow - Temperatures around Moscow drop to minus 12 °C and the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city. : The HMS Ark Royal delivers a squadron of Hurricane fighter planes to Malta.
    •    13: Germans start a new offensive against Moscow as the muddy ground freezes again. : The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is torpedoed by the German submarine U-81 and sinks the following day.
    •    15: The Germans drive on Moscow.
    •    17: Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables the State Department that Japan had plans to launch an attack against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (his cable was ignored). : Ernst Udet, head of the Luftwaffe's Production and Development, commits suicide over his perceived inability to properly perform his mission.
    •    18: Operation Crusader: British Commonwealth and other Allied troops cross into Libya and at least temporarily relieve the Siege of Tobruk.
    •    19: Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran sink each other off the coast of Western Australia. All 648 crewmen are lost on HMAS Sydney.
    •    22: Rostov-on-Don, an important hub on the southern front, is taken by the Germans. : Britain issues an ultimatum to Finland to end war with the Soviet Union or face war with the Allies. : Rommel starts a counteroffensive, retaking Sidi Rezegh (south of Tobruk) which the Allies had taken a few days earlier. British tank losses are heavy.
    •    23: Rommel's attack continues around Sidi Rezegh; Allied losses continue to rise. : the United States reaches an agreement with the Dutch government in exile whereby the Americans occupy Suriname to protect the bauxite mines there.
    •    24: The United States grants Lend-Lease to the Free French. : Rommel begins a surprising 15-mile foray into Egypt; he meets no opposition.
    •    25: U-331 sinks the British battleship HMS Barham while covering Mediterranean convoys.
    •    26: A Japanese attack fleet of 33 warships and auxiliary craft, including six aircraft carriers, sails from northern Japan for the Hawaiian Islands. : The Hull note ultimatum is delivered to Japan by the United States. : After his brief dash into Egypt, Rommel retreats to Bardia for refuelling; it is during this brief withdrawal that Tobruk is temporarily relieved when the 8th Army meets with the besieged.
    •    27: Battle of Moscow - German Panzers are on the outskirts of Moscow. : In Italian East Africa, the last Italian armed forces in East Africa surrender at Gondar.

December 1941

1: Malta marks its 1,000th bombing raid. : Fiorello H. La Guardia publishes Administrative Order 9 creating the Civil Air Patrol for U.S Coastal Patrol and naming its national commander Major General John F. Curry. : Approximately 20,000 Stanislawow Jews ordered into the Ghetto area, and non Jews ordered out. : SS officer Karl Jaeger reports "Lithuania clean of Jews" with some exceptions.
    •    2: Prime Minister Tojo rejects "peace feelers" from the US. : A German combat engineer patrol reaches the town of Khimki while scouting for a hole in the Russian defense perimeter around Moscow. It is the closest advance the Germans make to the Russian capital.
    •    3: Conscription in the United Kingdom now includes all men between 18 and 50. Women will not be neglected since they will serve in fire brigades and in women's auxiliary groups.
    •    3: General strike begins among native mine-workers in the Belgian Congo
    •    3: Vilna Ghetto 'Criminal Aktion' begins, continued the next day. 157 Jews are killed at Ponary[4]
    •    4: The temperature on the Moscow front falls to -31°F (-37°C).[8] German attacks are failing.
    •    4: Japanese naval and army forces continue to move toward Pearl Harbor and South-east Asia.
    •    5: Germans call off the attack on Moscow, now 11 miles away; the USSR counter-attacks during a heavy blizzard.
    •    6: The United Kingdom declares war on Finland. : Vilna Ghetto Gestapo Workers Aktion - 800 Jews and 10 Poles shot at the Ponary massacre death site. Temperatures are minus 23 degrees Celsius.
USS Arizona burned for two days after being hit by a Japanese bomb. Parts of the ship were salvaged, but the wreck remains at the bottom of Pearl Harbor to this day and is a major memorial.

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FDR delivers his Infamy Speech to Congress.
•    7: (December 8, Asian time zones) Japan launches an attack on Pearl Harbor, declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom and invades Thailand and British Malaya and launches aerial attacks against Guam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Shanghai, Singapore and Wake Island. Canada declares war on Japan. : German "Night and Fog decree" dictating the elimination of anti-Nazis in Western Europe.
    •    8: The United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and New Zealand declare war on Japan. : Japanese forces take the Gilbert Islands (which include Tarawa). Clark Field in the Philippines is bombed, and many American aircraft are destroyed on the ground. : Japanese troops attack Thailand in the Battle of Prachuab Khirikhan
    •    9: China officially declares war on Japan, although a de facto state of war has existed between the two countries since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 7, 1937. China also declares war on Germany and Italy. Australia officially declare war on Japan.
    •    9: Striking miners of the Union Minière at Elizabethville in the Belgian Congo are fired on by Belgian colonial forces during negotiations, killing an estimated 70 people.
    •    10: British battlecruiser HMS Repulse and battleship HMS Prince of Wales are sunk in a Japanese air attack.
    •    11: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The United States reciprocates and declares war on Germany and Italy. : US forces repel a Japanese landing attempt at Wake Island. : Japanese invade Burma.
    •    12: Japanese landings on the southern Philippine Islands—Samar, Jolo, Mindanao. : The United States and the United Kingdom declare war on Romania and Bulgaria after they had declared war on both the United States and the United Kingdom; India declares war on Japan. : US seizes French ship Normandie.
    •    13: Hungary declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Kingdom reciprocate and declare war on Hungary. : Japanese under General Yamashita continue their push into Malaya. Under General Homma the Japanese forces are firmly established in the northern Philippines. Hong Kong is threatened.
    •    14: The British cruiser HMS Galatea is sunk by U-557 off Alexandria, beginning a series of naval defeats for the Allies.
    •    15: Italian "human torpedoes" sink two British battleships, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant in Alexandria harbour. : Allied troops push Rommel back at the Gazala line. : Vilna Ghetto 'Gestapo block' Aktion. 300 Jews shot at the Ponary massacre site.
    •    16: Rommel orders a withdrawal all the way to El Agheila, where he had begun in March. He awaits reinforcements of men and tanks. : Japan invades Borneo. : The German offensive around Moscow is now at a complete halt.
    •    17: Battle of Sevastopol begins.
    •    18: Japanese troops land on Hong Kong Island.
    •    19: Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army : HMS Neptune, leading Force K, strikes a minefield and sinks with one survivor and a loss of 766 crew.
    •    20: The battle for Wake Island continues with several Japanese ships sunk or damaged. : Stanislawow Ghetto officially closed and sealed with walls.[5] : Vilna Ghetto 400 Jews killed by Lithuanian militias inside the ghetto.
    •    21: The suffering of besieged Leningrad continues; it is estimated that about 3,000 are dying each day of starvation and various diseases. : The inmates at Bogdanovka concentration camp are massacred to quell an outbreak of Typhus. Roughly 40,000 die.
    •    22: The Japanese land at Lingayan Gulf, on the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines. : Start of the Arcadia Conference in Washington, the first official meeting of British and American political and military leaders.
    •    23: A second Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island is successful, and the American garrison surrenders after hours of fighting. : General MacArthur declares Manila an "Open City." : Japanese forces land on Sarawak (Borneo).
    •    24: In the Philippines, American forces retreat into Bataan Peninsula. : Japanese bomb Rangoon. : All Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe are required to gather all fur coats or other furs from the Jews.[9]
    •    25: Hong Kong surrenders to Japan. : Allied forces retake Benghazi. : Red Army and Navy amphibious forces land at Kerch, in the Crimea; their occupation will last through April.
    •    27: British and Norwegian Commandos raid the Norwegian port of Vågsøy, causing Hitler to reinforce the garrison and defences.
    •    28: Japanese paratroopers land on Sumatra.
    •    30: The first "Liberty Ship", the SS Patrick Henry is launched. Liberty Ships will prove to be major parts of the Allied supply system.

January 1942
1: Twenty-six Allied countries signed the Declaration by United Nations during the Arcadia Conference.
2: Manila is captured by Japanese forces. They also take Cavite naval base, and the American and Filipino troops continue the retreat into Bataan.
5: The beginning of a major Red Army offensive under General Zhukov.
6: The British advance continues to El Agheila, on the western edge of Libya.
In his State of the Union speech, President Roosevelt promises more aid to Britain, including planes and troops.
7: Siege of the Bataan Peninsula begins.
Heavy air attacks on Malta; it is estimated that the bomb tonnage dropped on the island is twice that dropped on London.
8: Japanese troops penetrated the outer lines of defense at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.
9: Japanese advances in Borneo meet with little opposition.
10: Japan declares war on the Netherlands.
11: Japanese troops capture Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.
Japan invades the Netherlands East Indies.
13: Red Army take Kirov and Medya, as their counter-offensive continues.
The German U-boat offensive comes closer to the US shores starting the Second Happy Time.
15: German authorities begin to deport Jews from the Lodz ghettos to the Chelmno Concentration Camp.
19: Japanese forces take large numbers of British troops prisoner, north of Singapore.
20: Nazis at the Wannsee conference in Berlin decide that the "final solution to the Jewish problem" is relocation, and later extermination.
Japanese bomb Singapore as their troops approach the city.
21: Rommel begins a surprising counter-offensive at El Agheila; his troops, with new reinforcements and tanks, capture Agedabia, then push north to Beda Fomm.
: At the Vilna Ghetto the Fareynikte Partizaner Organizatsye a Jewish partisan organisation is established, including Aba Kovner
23: The Battle of Rabaul, New Guinea begins.
24: American troops land in Samoa, as part of a strategy to stop the Japanese advance in the Pacific.
25: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom
Japanese troops invade the Solomon Islands.
26: The first American forces arrive in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.
27: The British withdraw all troops back into Singapore.
28: Brazil breaks off relations with the Axis powers.
29: Rommel enters Benghazi, Libya in his drive east. For the next few months, the two sides will rest and rearm.
30: Hitler speaks at the Berlin Sportpalast and threatens the Jews of the world with annihilation; he also blames the failure of the offensive in Soviet Union on the weather.
31: The Japanese take the port of Moulamein, Burma; they now threaten Rangoon as well as Singapore.
On the Eastern front, the Germans are in retreat at several points.
The last organised Allied forces leave Malaya, ending the 54-day battle.

February 1942
1: Vidkun Quisling becomes the Nazi-aligned Minister-President of Norway
Rommel's forces reach El Gazala, Libya, near the border with Egypt; during a "Winter lull" he will remain there.
2: General Joseph ("Vinegar Joe") Stilwell is named Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-Shek and Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces in China.
3: Japanese air power is thrown against Java, especially the naval base at Surabaya.
Port Moresby, New Guinea is bombed by the Japanese, increasing the threat to Australia posed by Japan.
7: Americans continue their defence of Bataan against General Homma's troops.
8: The German armies in the Soviet Union are driven from Kursk, an important point in the German strategy.
9: British troops are now in full retreat into Singapore for a final defence.
Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.
10: The cruise liner SS Normandie catches fire and capsizes in New York harbour. Although the cause is probably a welder's torch, various conspiracies are imagined in the media.
11: The "Channel Dash." The battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, with the cruiser Prinz Eugen, rush out of Brest through the English Channel to northern ports, including Wilhelmshaven, Germany; the British naval units fail to sink any of them.
13: The battle for Bataan continues.
15: Singapore surrenders to Japanese forces; this is arguably the most devastating loss in British military history.
16: Being discussed in high American government circles are plans for the internment of Japanese-Americans living generally in the western US.
The Japanese commit the Banka Island Massacre in which they open fire on Australian military nurses, killing 21.
17: Orders are given for Rangoon to be evacuated as Japanese forces approach.
19: Japanese aircraft attack Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 allowing the United States military to define areas as exclusionary zones. These zones affect the Japanese on the West Coast, and Germans and Italians primarily on the East Coast.
A military conscription law is passed in Canada.
20: Japanese troops cross the important Salween River in Burma.
Japanese invade Bali and Timor by a combined use of paratroops and amphibious troops.
21: The American Air Corps is now firmly established at bases in the UK.
22: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur to evacuate the Philippines as American defence of the nation collapses.
25: The internment of Japanese-American citizens in the Western United States begins as fears of invasion increase.
Princess Elizabeth registers for war service
26: Vivian Bullwinkel, the only survivor of the Banka Island Massacre is captured and imprisoned by the Japanese
27: Battle of the Java Sea. Under a Dutch Admiral, the combined forces lose one aircraft tender (the USS Langley), six destroyers, and five cruisers off Java.
28: Japanese land forces invade Java.

March 1942
1: A Red Army offensive in the Crimea begins; in the north, the siege of Leningrad continues.
3: Japanese aircraft make a surprising raid on the airfield and harbour at Broome, Western Australia.
5: The Japanese capture Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies.
New conscription laws in the United Kingdom include women and men up to the age of 45.
6: Malta receives more fighters for its on-going defence.
8: The Japanese land at Lae and Salamaua, on Huon Bay, New Guinea, beginning their move toward Port Moresby, New Guinea, and then Australia.
9: Japanese troops entered Rangoon, Burma, which was abandoned by the British two days earlier. It appears that the Japanese are in control of Java, Burma, and New Guinea.
The Secretary of War reorganizes the General Headquarters (GHQ), United States Army into three major commands - Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply, the later of which is later redesignated Army Service Forces. At the same time, the four Defense commands and all Theaters Of Operations (TOPNS) are subordinated to the War Department General Staff.
11: The Japanese land on Mindanao, the southernmost island in the Philippines.
12: American troops begin to land in Nouméa, New Caledonia; it will become an important staging base for the eventual invasion of Guadalcanal.
13: RAF launches an air raid against Essen, Germany.
14: Japanese land troops in the Solomon Islands, underscoring Australia's dangerous situation, especially if, as it is soon made clear, an airfield is built on Guadalcanal.
The Japanese are now threatening American forces around Manila Bay; the retreat to Corregidor begins.
17: U.S. General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia, after leaving his headquarters in the Philippines.
The United Kingdom institutes rationing of electricity, coal, and gas; the clothing ration is decreased as well.
20: Operation Outward begins
22: A fractured convoy reaches Malta, after heavy losses to the Luftwaffe and an Italian sea force. Continued heavy bombing attacks on the island with slight opposition from overtaxed RAF air forces.
25: RAF sends bomber raids against targets in France and Germany.
26: Jews in Berlin must now clearly identify their houses.
28: The RAF sends a raid against Lübeck, destroying over 30% of the city, and 80% of the medieval centre. Hitler is outraged.
British commandos launch the raid on Saint-Nazaire. HMS Campbeltown, filled with explosives on a time-delay fuse, rams the dock gates and commandos destroy other parts of the naval service area. The port is completely destroyed and does not resume service till 1947; however, around two-thirds of the raiding forces are lost.

April 1942
1: The Eastern Sea Frontier, desperately short on suitable escort vessels after the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, institutes an interim arrangement known as the "Bucket Brigaid," wherein vessels outside of protected harbors are placed in anchorages protected by netting after dark, and move only under whatever escort is available during the day. As word of this and similar measures reaches Doenitz, he does not wait to test their effectiveness, but instead shifts his U-boats to the area controlled by the Gulf Sea Frontier, where American anti-submarine measures are not as effective. As a result, in May more ships will be sunk in the Gulf, many of them off the Passes of the Mississippi, than off of the entire Eastern Seaboard.
The Pacific War Council meets for the first time in Washington. Intended to allow the smaller powers involved in fighting the Japanese to have some input into US decisions, its purpose is soon outstripped by events, notably the collapse of the ABDA Command.
2: Over 24,000 sick and starving troops (American and Filipino) are now trapped on the Bataan Peninsula.
Japanese make landings on New Guinea, most importantly at Hollandia.
3: Japanese forces begin an all-out assault on United States and Filipino troops in Bataan.
Sustained Japanese air attacks on Mandalay.
4: Germans plan "Baedeker raids" on touristy or historic British sites, in revenge for the Lübeck bombing.
5: On Bataan, the Japanese overwhelm Mt. Samat, a strong point on Allied defensive line.
The Japanese Navy attacks Colombo in Ceylon. Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk southwest of the island.
Adolf Hitler issues Directive No. 41, outlining his plans for the coming summer offensive in Russia. The main offensive is directed to seize the Russian oil fields in the Caucasus; a secondary thrust is to capture Stalingrad and protect the flank of the main advance.
6: Japanese naval forces put troops ashore on Manus Island in the Bismarck Archipelago (some sources give a date of 8 April for these landings).
8: Heavy RAF bombing of Hamburg.
American forces are strained for one last offensive on Bataan.
With the withdrawal of the HMS Penelope from Malta, Force K in Malta comes to a close.
9: The Japanese Navy launches an air raid on Trincomalee in Ceylon; Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire are sunk off the country's East Coast.
Bataan falls to the Japanese. The "Bataan Death March" begins, as the captives are taken off to detention camps in the north. Corregidor, in the middle of Manila Bay, remains a final point of resistance.
10: Japanese land on Cebu Island, a large middle island of the Philippines.
12: Japanese forces capture Migyaungye in Burma.
13: Anton Schmid an Austrian soldier of the Wehrmacht is put to death, after witnessing the Ponary Massacre and saving Jews.
14: Winston Churchill, concerned that the situation in Malta will cause the Axis forces in North Africa to be better supplied than British forces, sends a telegram to Sir Stafford Cripps in Cairo, asking him to pressure General Auchinleck to take offensive action before this can occur.
USS Roper becomes the first American ship to sink a U-boat.
15: Malta is awarded the George Cross by King George VI for "heroism and devotion".
Soldiers of the I Burma Corps begin to destroy the infrastructure of the Yenangyaung oil fields to prevent the advancing Japanese from capturing them intact.
17: French General Henri Giraud, who was captured in 1940, escapes from a castle prison at Konigstein by lowering himself down the castle wall and jumping on board a moving train, which takes him to the French border.
18: Doolittle Raid on Nagoya, Tokyo and Yokohama. Jimmy Doolittle's B-25's take off from the USS Hornet. The raids are a great boost of morale for Americans whose diet has been mostly bad news.
The Eastern Sea Frontier, the United States Navy operational command in charge of the East Coast of the United States, somewhat belatedly forces a blackout along the East Coast. This deprives U-boat commanders of background illumination, but provides only a very little relief from U-boat attack; as the nights grow shorter more U-boat attacks are occurring in daylight hours.
20: General Dobbie, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of Malta, sends a message to Winston Churchill saying "it is obvious that the very worst may happen if we cannot replenish our vital needs, especially flour and ammunition, and that very soon...." Churchill concludes from this and other "disturbing news" that Dobbie is not capable enough for such an important job, and decides to replace him with Lord Gort.
USS Wasp delivers 47 Spitfire Mk. V fighters of No. 603 Squadron RAF to Malta; the planes are destroyed, mostly on the ground, by intense Axis air raids before they can affect the course of battle.
23: Beginning of so-called Baedeker Raids by the Luftwaffe on English provincial towns like Exeter, Bath, Norwich, and York; attacks continue sporadically until June 6.
24: Heavy bombing of Rostock, Germany by RAF.
26: Hitler assumes a kind of supreme authority over Germany.
27: Rostock is bombed for fourth night in a row.
A national plebiscite is held in Canada on the issue of conscription. French Canadians are main, though not the only, objectors to the draft.
28: The bulk of the British assault troops depart Durban for Madagascar; the slower ships, carrying transport and heavy weapons, have departed in great secrecy some days earlier.
29: The "Baedeker raids" continue, focused on Norwich and York.
Japanese cut Burma Road with the capture of Lashio. .
Adolf Hitler summons Benito Mussolini and Galeazzo Ciano to a summit conference at Salzburg. Like most Hitlerian conferences, this one is actually a thinly-disguised attempt to harangue the invitees into compliance with the Fuehrer's will; in this case, the Italians are to commit more troops to the Eastern Front. Hitler is successful, and Mussolini agrees to send an additional seven divisions, as well as the two already promised. These unfortunate troops will be formed into the Eighth Italian Army and attached to von Bock's (later von Weichs') Army Group B.

May 1942

1: Rommel readies for a new offensive during the early part of this month.
Troops of the Japanese Fifteenth Army under General Shojiro Iida take Mandalay and Monywa, securing the western terminus of the Burma Road.
2: In response to American intelligence intercepts, which warn of the impending Japanese landings, the Australian garrison is evacuated from Tulagi.
3: In the initial move of the Japanese strategic plan to capture Port Moresby, Japanese forces under Admiral Kiyohide Shima make unopposed landings on Tulagi, opening the Battle of the Coral Sea.
American General Joseph Stilwell decides that nothing more can be accomplished in Burma, and that the time has come to evacuate.
4: US Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's Task Force 17 makes the first carrier strike of the Battle of the Coral Sea, attacking Japanese naval targets near Tulagi. However, Japanese Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto's Covering Force has already withdrawn to support the Port Moresby operation, according to plan; so the attacking aircraft, mostly from USS Yorktown, find only a few targets and can do little damage.
General Stilwell and his party of 114, mostly Americans, begin their trek to the Indian border and safety. To reach India, Stilwell will not only have to stay ahead of the Japanese, but beat the coming monsoon.
5: Heavy Japanese artillery attack on Corregidor.
British forces begin "Operation Ironclad": the invasion of Madagascar to keep the Vichy French territory from falling to a possible Japanese invasion.
The city of Exeter is bombed by the Luftwaffe, another "Baedeker Raid".
In the Coral Sea, both Japanese and American carrier aircraft spend this day and the following one searching for each others ships, with no success, even though at one point the opposing carrier groups are separated by less than a hundred miles of ocean.
General Stilwell abandons his trucks, which constantly become stuck and so are actually impeding progress rather than aiding it. He retains his Jeeps, which do better. Late in the day his party arrives at Indaw.
6: On Corregidor, Lt. General Jonathan M. Wainwright surrenders the last U.S. forces in the Philippines to Lt. General Masaharu Homma. About 12,000 are made prisoners. Homma will soon face criticism from his superiors over the amount of time it has taken him to reduce the Philippines, and be forced into retirement (1943).
After a pep talk, General Stilwell and his party of 114 set out from Indaw on foot, with only 11 Jeeps to carry their supplies and any incapacitated, to reach the Indian border. He sends a last radio message which ends, "Catastrophe quite possible." The radio is then destroyed.
7: Vichy forces surrender Diego Suarez, the most important port in Madagascar, to British forces involved in Operation Ironclad. However, the Vichy forces are able to withdraw in good order.
In the Coral Sea, Japanese search planes spot refueling ship USS Neosho and destroyer USS Sims, which have retired from Fletcher's Task Force 17 into what should have been safer waters to refuel Sims. They are mistaken for an aircraft carrier and a cruiser. Japanese Admiral Takagi, believing he has at last found the location of Fletcher's main force, orders a full out attack by carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku and sinks both ships. This distraction helps prevent the Japanese from finding the real location of Fletcher's carriers. Meanwhile, Fletcher has a similar false alarm, the spotting of two cruisers and two destroyers being mistakenly encrypted as "two carriers and four cruisers." By chance, though, planes from USS Lexington and USS Yorktown stumble across light carrier Shoho while pursuing the false lead and sink her, leading to the first use in the American Navy of the signal, "Scratch one flattop." Admiral Inoue is so alarmed by the loss of Shoho he halts the Port Moresby invasion group north of the Louisiades until the American carriers can be found and destroyed.
In Burma, General Stilwell must abandon his Jeeps. From here on all in the party will have to march. The fifty-nine-year-old General decides a cadence of one hundred five beats per minute will best match the disparate abilities of his party, and they march fifty minutes and rest ten each hour.
8: In the Coral Sea, each side finally locates the others main carrier groups, consisting of Japanese carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, and American carriers Lexington and Yorktown. Several attacks follow. Only Zuikaku escapes unscathed; Shokaku has her flight deck bent, requiring two months' repairs; Lexington is sunk and Yorktown damaged. Fletcher retires; this action closes the Battle. While arguably a stalemate or even tactical victory for the Japanese, who have sunk the most tonnage and the only large carrier, the Battle of the Coral Sea is usually seen as a strategic victory for the United States, as Admiral Inoue cancels the Port Moresby operation, the first significant failure of a Japanese strategic operation in the Pacific Theatre. In addition, Yorktown will be repaired in time to make important contributions at Midway (although she will not survive), whereas neither the damaged Shokaku nor Zuikaku (which, although not directly attacked, has suffered unsustainable losses in aircraft), will be able to refit in time for Midway, giving the Japanese only four operable carriers available for that battle.
The Germans take the Kerch peninsula in the eastern Crimea.
9: On the night of 8/9 May 1942, gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled. Their mutiny was crushed and three of them were executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
USS Wasp and HMS Eagle deliver a second contingent of Spitfires to Malta in Operation Bowery. A few days later, a grateful Churchill will signal Wasp "Who says a Wasp can't sting twice?" These aircraft, employed more aggressively than those previously delivered, turn the tide in the skies over Malta during the next few days, and the Axis is forced to abandon daylight bombing. This is a major turning point in the Siege, and thus in the North African Campaign, although the approaches to the island remain subject to deadly and accurate Axis air attack, preventing efficient re-supply of the island.
In Burma, General Stilwell and his party begin crossing the Uyu River. Only four small rafts are available, and the crossing takes the better part of two days.
10: Unaware that the tide is turning even as he speaks, Kesselring informs Hitler that Malta has been neutralized.
Churchill, growing ever more frustrated with General Auchinleck's inactivity, finally sends him a telegram with a clear order; attack in time to cover for the Harpoon/Vigorous convoys to Malta during the dark of the moon in early June. This places Auchinleck in the position of complying or resigning. Auchinleck does not immediately reply, leaving Churchill, CIGS, and the War Cabinet in a state of suspense.
12: German U-boat U-553, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Karl Thurmann, sinks British freighter Nicoya near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, signalling the opening of the Battle of St. Lawrence.
Second Battle of Kharkov - In the eastern Ukraine, Soviet forces of Marshal Timoshenko's Southwest Theatre of Operations, including Gorodnyanski's 6th Army and Kharitonov's 9th Army, initiate a major offensive to capture Kharkov from the Germans. 9th Army is to attack first, with a primary objective of Krasnograd, and a secondary one of Poltava; 6th Army is to follow immediately. After 9th Army has captured Krasnograd, 6th Army is to swing north and link up with 28th Army and 57th Army, the latter two formations having meanwhile cut the railway between Belgorad and Kharkov.
13: General Stilwell and his party cross the Chindwin River. They are now almost certainly safe from the Japanese, but still dependent on their own supplies in a very remote area and racing to beat the monsoon.
14: In response to the Soviet offensive in the Kharkov area, Hitler orders elements of Richthofen's Fliegerkorps VIII north to do ground support missions. As a result, by the end of the day 14 May, the Germans have established a tentative but increasing air superiority over the Kharkov sector. In addition, on this day Hitler orders General Kleist, whose command is in positions opposite and to the south of the Soviets' left flank, to quickly prepare and launch a strong armoured counter-offensive.
In Burma, General Stilwell and his party begin ascending the Naga Hills. They are met at Kawlum by a relief expedition headed by British colonial administrator Tim Sharpe. "Food, doctor, ponies, and everything," notes a grateful Stilwell in his diary.
15: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
General Stilwell crosses the border into India.
16: United States 1st Armored Division arrives in Northern Ireland.
17: In the salient north of Kharkov, Russian 28th and 57th Armies are having trouble making progress against General Paulus's (German) 6th Army.
For once, Adolf Hitler has not hobbled his local commander with a strict "no retreat" order, and Paulus is free to conduct an efficient delaying action. In addition, Paulus' troops are largely up to strength and fully equipped as a result of preparations for the upcoming drive to Stalingrad. In the south salient, Kharitonov's 9th Army has routed the Romanian (3rd and/or 4th Army; accounts differ) troops in his path and captured Krasnograd, and is proceeding to Poltava; Gorodnyanski's 6th Army has made its planned turn to the north to link up with 28th and 57th Armies. 9th Army's impetus has stretched Kharitonov's armoured units out along a seventy-mile track, diluting their strength; and attempts to cover his left flank by driving the Germans back from it have been unsuccessful. The Russians take only a few prisoners along this flank, but Timoshenko is dismayed by the variety of units, especially armoured units, this handful of men represent (this is because Kleist is concentrating troops in this area in preparation for his counter-offensive). Timoshenko loses confidence and has his Political Officer Nikita Khrushchev ring up the Stavka and ask for permission to halt while he secures his left flank; Stavka refuses.
It has been a week since Churchill sent his ultimatum to General Auchinleck, and he has not yet received a reply. He sends a terse follow-up: "It is necessary for me to have some account of your general intentions in light of our recent telegrams." Again there is no immediate reply.
18: The Red Army is in a major retreat at Kerch, after large numbers surrender.[citation needed]
In the salient north of Kharkov, the Soviet offensive has bogged down. In the southern salient, Kleist has launched his counter-offensive. It is immediately successful and by the end of the first day the leading elements have reached the confluence of the Oksol and Donetz rivers, greatly narrowing the base of the salient. In the process the Germans traverse and disrupt so many lines of communication that Kharitonov's 9th Army begins to lose cohesion as a fighting force, and becomes useless as a screen to protect Gorodnyanski's 6th Army which, because of its northward progress, is badly disposed to repel the German attacks coming from the south.
The Assam Rifles give General Stilwell's party a formal salute in honor of their arrival at Ukhrul, but can offer no motorized transport; the nearest road passable by trucks is still a day's march away, and there are no Jeeps yet in this part of India.
19: At Kharkov, Kleist's counter-offensive continues to prosper; and now Paulus launches a second counter-attack from the north, designed to link up with Kleist's and encircle as many Soviet troops as possible. The Stavka, gradually becoming aware of the extent of the danger, orders Gorodnyanski's 6th Army to halt their advance. But by now Timoshenko is planning to extricate what forces he can before the two German spearheads link up.
General Stilwell and his party at last reach the truck roadhead at Litan; by this time the monsoon rains have started.
General Auchinleck at last replies to Churchill's somewhat urgent telegram of the 10th, saying he will have an attack ready by the sailing of the Harpoon/Vigorous convoys for Malta.
20: The Japanese conquest of Burma is complete; it is called a "military catastrophe". Coincidentally, on this same day General Stilwell arrives in Imphal and dismisses his evacuation party. All 114 have arrived, although some have to be hospitalized due to exhaustion; one of whom, Major Frank Merrill, later commander of Merrill's Marauders, is diagnosed to have had a mild heart attack en route.
At Kharkov, as Kleist's and Paulus' forward elements draw ever closer together, Timoshenko sends his subordinate General Kostenko into the salient to organize a fighting retreat, or, failing that, maximize what can be saved.
Molotov arrives in London, and high-level discussions begin the next day.
21: Invasion of Malta postponed indefinitely.
In discussions with Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden, Molotov continues to press Soviet demands for territorial acquisitions made during the run-up to war, including the Baltic states, Eastern Poland, and Bessarabia. Churchill cannot or will not agree to these demands, and the talks become deadlocked.
22: Mexico declares war on the Axis.
23: Kleist's and Paulus' tanks meet up at Balakleya, southeast of Kharkov, encircling most of the Soviets' 6th and 9th Armies.
At the high-level Soviet/United Kingdom talks in London, Anthony Eden suggests abandoning attempts to reach territorial understandings, and instead conclude a twenty-years' alliance. Molotov, whose diplomatic position is weakening rapidly as the Soviet military situation deteriorates at Kerch and Kharkov, expresses interest.
25: In preparation for the next battle, the Japanese naval strategists send diversionary forces to the Aleutians.
26: The Anglo-Soviet Treaty: their foreign secretaries agree that no peace will be signed by one without the approval of the other. (An important treaty since Himmler and others will attempt to separate the two nations at the end of the war.)
Rommel begins a Spring offensive at the Gazala line (west of Tobruk). It opens with "Rommel's Moonlight Ride," a dramatic mechanized dash around 1st Free French Brigade Group positions at Bir Hakeim on the British left (desertward) flank, conducted by moonlight during the night of 26/27 May. In the process Rommel disperses 3rd Indian Motorized Brigade, some six hundred of whom are taken prisoner and then released in the desert, and who will make their way to Bir Hakeim. The offensive lasts well into June and ends with a total victory for Rommel.
27: Reinhard Heydrich, head of Reich Security, is fatally hurt in Prague during Operation Anthropoid by Czechoslovak soldiers; he will die on June 4 from his wounds.
British use American Sherman tanks in attempts to stop Rommel's attacks on the Gazala line.
The USS Yorktown, damaged at the Coral Sea, limps into Pearl Harbor; it is ordered to get repaired and ready as fast as possible for the impending battle.
In Occupied Belgium, wearing of the "Yellow badge" becomes compulsory for Jews.
29: The Jews in France are ordered to wear the yellow Star of David.
Japanese forces have large successes south of Shanghai.
Rommel turns his troops to Bir Hachim on the south edge of the Gazala line; once it is taken, he can move north and destroy the Allied emplacements in the line.
30: "The Thousand Bomber Raid" on Cologne, revealing new area bombing techniques.
The USS Yorktown leaves Pearl after hasty repairs and moves to join the USS Enterprise for the next expected battle.
31: Huge German successes around Kharkov, with envelopment of several Red Army armies.
Japanese midget subs enter Sydney harbour and sink one support ship; fears of invasion grow.
So effective has been the use of the Spitfires delivered to Malta in Operation Bowery earlier in the month, that Kesselring has only eighty-three serviceable aircraft left, as opposed to more than four hundred at the peak of Axis air strength earlier in the spring.
Rommel's offensive has stalled out well short of Tobruk, due to resistance by British 1st Armoured Division and 7th Armoured Division, partially equipped with the new American Sherman tanks. He is also confronted by a long supply line, which must reach around and is under constant threat from the 1st Free French Brigade Group position at Bir Hakeim. He orders two lanes cut through the British minefields which run from Gazala to Bir Hakeim, on either side of fortified positions held by the 150th Brigade of British 50th Infantry Division. He then gathers the bulk of his forces near the outlets of these two lanes, completing the process on the 31st. These tactics serve the triple purpose of shortening his supply line, encircling 150th Brigade, and allowing him to use the British minefields as part of his defences. The area of concentration, promptly nicknamed "the Cauldron" by British Command, will be the focus of the battle for the next few days.

June 1942
1: First reports in the West that gas is being used to kill the Jews sent to "the East".
Mexico declares war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.
To further secure his supply lines, Rommel launches an attack on 150th Brigade of British 50th Infantry Division, whose position he has surrounded. Since he is attacking from the east against a position designed to defend against attacks from the west, and since there is scant hope of relief, there is little 150th Brigade can do and they are soon overwhelmed.
2: Further heavy bombing of industrial sites in Germany, centred mainly on Essen.
3: The British coal industry is nationalised.
Japan launches air raids against Alaska in the Battle of Dutch Harbor, beginning the Aleutian Islands Campaign
The Battle of Midway opens with ineffective attacks by land-based American B-17s on the approaching Japanese fleet. Admiral Nagumo, in charge of the Japanese carrier force (Hiryu, Soryu, Akagi, and Kaga) is unable to locate any American aircraft carriers and decides to attack Midway's land-based air defences the first thing the next morning, which in any event is one of his planned tasks.
4: In the Battle of Midway, the day opens with Admiral Nagumo's attack on the air defences of the island.
A good deal of damage is done and many aircraft destroyed on both sides, but in the end the island's airbase is still functional. Nagumo plans a second attack on the island, and begins refueling and rearming his planes. Meanwhile, attacks are launched from all three American aircraft carriers in the area. Planes from Hornet, Yorktown, and Enterprise all find the targets, although most of the planes from Hornet follow an incorrect heading and miss this attack. Torpedo Squadron 8 from Hornet breaks and follows the correct heading. The Devastators of "Torp 8" are all shot down without doing any damage; there is only one survivor, George H. Gay, Jr. of Waco, Texas, who watches the battle unfold from the water. The torpedo attack fails, but draws the Japanese Combat Air Patrol down to low altitude, and they are unable to effectively repel the dive bombers from Yorktown and Enterprise when they arrive. The bombs find the Japanese flight decks crowded with fueling lines and explosive ordnance, and Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu are all soon reduced to blazing hulks, Akagi by only one bomb dropped by Lt. Commander Richard Halsey Best; only Hiryu escapes with no hits. Admiral Nagumo shifts his flag from Akagi to another ship, cruiser Nagara, and orders attacks on the American carriers, one by group of Aichi D3A dive bombers and a second by Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers. The Japanese planes find Yorktown (thinking Yorktown already sunk, the second attack group assume it must be Enterprise) and damage it so badly that Yorktown must be abandoned. Admiral Fetcher shifts his flag to cruiser Astoria and cedes operational command to Admiral Spruance. The attacks on Yorktown give away Hiryu's continued operations, though, and it is promptly attacked and will sink the next day, Admiral Yamaguchi choosing to go down with it. Ironically, Hiryu and the other three destroyed Japanese carriers had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Reinhard Heydrich dies in Prague from medical complications that had arisen from injuries suffered from an attempted assassination by Czechoslovak patriots two weeks earlier (Operation Anthropoid)
5: At Gazala, British forces of the Eighth Army commanded by General Ritchie launch a major counter-attack against Rommel's forces in the Cauldron. The attack fails, partly because Rommel has already recovered his critical logistics situation and has established an excellent defensive position, but also in large part due to German anti-tank tactics; 32nd Army Tank Brigade, for example, loses 50 of 70 tanks. By early afternoon Rommel is clearly in control of the situation and attacks the British position known as "Knightsbridge" with the Ariete and 21st Panzer divisions. Several British tactical headquarters positions are overrun and command and control of the British forces becomes problematic; as a result, several brigades are stranded in the Cauldron when the British retirement begins. In addition, the British suffer further heavy tank losses.
United States declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.
7: Japanese forces invade Attu and Kiska. This is the first invasion of American soil in 128 years. Japanese occupation of Attu and Kiska begins.
The Battle of Midway comes to a close; the USS Yorktown sinks; four Japanese carriers and one cruiser are sunk. The battle is viewed as a turning point in the Pacific war.
The Greek People's Liberation Army makes its first appearance at Domnista, where Aris Velouchiotis proclaims the start of armed resistance against the Axis.
8: Malta receives a squadron of Spitfires.
A Japanese submarine fires several shells into a residential area in Sydney but with little effect.
9: Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice as reprisal for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich. All male adults and children are killed, and all females are taken off to concentration camps.
At Bir Hakeim, Rommel renews his attacks on the 1st Free French Brigade's "box." Although the Free French continue to hold out, their perimeter, never the largest, is dangerously reduced in size, and their position becomes untenable. General Ritchie orders 1st Free French Brigade to withdraw the following day.
10: Rommel pushes the Free French forces out of Bir Hakeim, a fortress south-west of Tobruk. Although the 1st Free French brigade is largely surrounded, their commander, General Koenig, is able to find and fight his way through gaps in Rommel's widely dispersed forces.
11: Two convoys set out for Malta, one from Gibraltar (code named 'Harpoon') and the other from Alexandria (code named 'Vigorous'), with desperately needed supplies of food, fuel, and ammunition. The hope is that the Axis will concentrate their attacks on whichever convoy they find first, allowing the other one to get through.
12: Heavy fighting in Sevastopol with serious losses of life on both sides.
At Gazala, the British are forced out of the defensive position known as 'Knightsbridge;' it is only approximately fifteen miles from the Tobruk perimeter (some sources give a date of 13 June for this; the withdrawal may have been in operation on both calendar days).
13: The United States opens its Office of War Information, a centre for production of propaganda.
'Black Saturday' for the 8th Army at the Battle of Gazala; during the course of the day Rommel does great damage to the British armour. At the end of the day not only have unsustainably large amounts of British armour been destroyed, but both 50th Division and 1st South African Division, who have largely retained their forward positions along the Gazala Line, are threatened with envelopment. The position of 50th Division is especially grave since Rommel's armour now ranges freely between them and safety.
14: At the Gazala Line, the British position has become untenable, and General Auchinleck authorizes General Ritchie to make a concerted withdrawal from forward positions along the line.
1st South African Division is able to withdraw along the coastal road, but the road cannot accommodate all the troops at once, and this route is in any event is under threat of being cut by Rommel's forces; so troops including 50th Division must first breakout to the southwest, through the area occupied by Italian X Corps, and then turn east to rejoin 8th Army. This somewhat daring operation is concluded successfully. The RAF forces available, although outnumbered, make a valiant effort to cover the retreat. Churchill sends Auchinleck a telegram beginning, 'To what position does Ritchie want to withdraw the Gazala troops? Presume there is no question in any case of giving up Tobruk.'
The convoy 'Vigorous', en route to Malta, sights a large Italian naval sqaudron headed toward it. 'Harpoon' comes under attack for the first time; 'Vigorous' has been under air attack almost since leaving port.
15: General Auchinleck sends Churchill a reply to the latter's telegram of the 14th, saying in part, "...I have no intention whatever of giving up Tobruk."
16: Two convoys moving toward Malta suffer heavy losses; German air forces continue to bomb the island itself. Operation Harpoon arrives in Malta, but only two of the six supply ships survive; one of them has lost part of its cargo due to mine damage. The sinking of the tanker Kentucky means that there will be precious little aviation fuel added to the dwindling RAF stocks on Malta. Late in the day, Operation Vigorous is cancelled; the convoy diverts back to Alexandria.
Churchill, about to leave for America, takes the unusual step of sending a letter to HRM George VI, advising him to make Anthony Eden Prime Minister should Churchill not survive the journey.
17: Tobruk is now surrounded.
18: Manhattan Project is started, the beginning of a scientific approach to nuclear weapons.
Winston Churchill arrives in Washington for meetings with Roosevelt.
The siege of Tobruk intensifies; some defending forces are pulled back to Egypt.
21: Afrika Korps recaptures Tobruk, with 35,000 men captured; the road to Egypt is now open as the British retreat deep into Egypt. Tobruk's loss is a grievous blow to British morale. German land forces have been assisted by Luftwaffe attacks.
25: General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives in London ready to assume the post of Commander of American forces in Europe.
Another massive "Thousand Bomber" raid, this time on Bremen; the raiders suffer grievous losses.
26: The Germans drive toward Rostov-on-Don.
27: Convoy PQ17 sets sail from Iceland; only 11 of 37 ships will survive.
28: Case Blue, the German plan to capture Stalingrad and the Soviet Union oil fields in the Caucasus, begins. Generally, forces are shifted to the South.
Mersa Matruh, Egypt, about 140 miles from Alexandria, falls to Rommel.
30: United States deploys II Corps to the European Theater.

July 1942
1: First Battle of El Alamein begins as Rommel begins first assault on British defences.
Sevastopol falls to the Germans; the end of Red Army resistance in the Crimea.
2: Churchill survives a censure motion in the House of Commons.
3: Guadalcanal is now firmly in the hands of the Japanese.
4: First air missions by American Air Force in Europe.
11: Rommel's forces are now stalemated before El Alamein, largely because of a lack of ammunition.
12: It now becomes clear that Stalingrad is the largest challenge to the invaders.
A balloon from Operation Outward knocks out a power station near Leipzig.
15: The only action around El Alamein is light skirmishing.
16: Vel' d'Hiv Roundup: On order from the Vichy France government headed by Pierre Laval, French police officers mass arrest 13,152 Jews and hold them at the Winter Velodrome before deportation to Auschwitz.
18: The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me-262 V3 third prototype using only its jet engines for the first time.
19: Battle of the Atlantic: German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions in response to an increasingly effective American convoy system.
20: After landing in the Buna-Gona area, the Japanese in New Guinea move across the Owen Stanley mountain range aiming at Port Moresby in the south-eastern part of the island, close to Australia; a small Australian force begins rearguard action on the Kokoda Track.
22: The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto begins.
: Treblinka, "a model" concentration camp, is opened in Poland.
24: Germans take Rostov-on-the-Don; the Red Army is in a general retreat along the Don River.
26: A second attack by the British under Auchinleck fails against Rommel. First Battle of El Alamein may be said to be over.
27: Heavy RAF incendiary attack on Hamburg.
29: The Japanese take Kokoda, halfway along the Owen Stanley pass to Port Moresby.
30: Continuing stalemate at El Alamein between Rommel and Auchinleck.

August 1942
1: The Germans continue their successful advance toward Stalingrad.
3: A convoy to Malta is decimated by the Luftwaffe and U-boats
5: The U.S. planning team for Operation Torch, which includes George S. Patton; Jimmy Doolittle; Kent Lambert; and Hoyt S. Vandenberg, meets in Washington, D.C. to join the combined planning team from London, England.
: Henrik Hersch Goldschmidt aka Janusz Korczak and almost 200 children of his orphanage, along with his staff are lead to the Treblinka II death camp, and killed there that day, probably with Gas.[2]
7: Operation Watchtower begins the Guadalcanal Campaign as American forces invade Gavutu, Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Tanambogo in the Solomon Islands.
8: Six of the eight German would-be saboteurs involved in Operation Pastorius are executed in Washington, D.C.
The naval Battle of Savo Island, near Guadalcanal; the Americans lose three cruisers, the Australians one.
9: Numerous riots in favour of independence in India; Mahatma Gandhi is arrested.
10: Rommel begins an attack around El Alamein, but by September he is back to his original lines.
11: The HMS Eagle, a carrier on convoy duty to Malta, is torpedoed and sinks with heavy loss of life.
12: At a conference in Moscow, Churchill informs Stalin that there will not be a "second front" in 1942.
American forces establish bases in the New Hebrides islands.
Fighting increases as the Germans approach Stalingrad.
13: General Bernard Montgomery appointed commander of British Eighth Army in North Africa; Churchill is anxious to see more offensive action on the part of the British.
Disastrous end to the Malta convoy, but one tanker and four merchant ships get through.
15: Malta is supplied via Operation Pedestal.
17: First US Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bomber raid in Europe, targeting the Sotteville railroad yards at Rouen, France.
18: Japanese reinforce New Guinea; Australians land troops at Port Moresby. Meanwhile, American planes have destroyed Japanese air power at Wewak, New Guinea.
19: Operation Jubilee, a raid by British and Canadian forces on Dieppe, France, ends in disaster; they come under heavy gunfire and eventually most are killed or captured by the German defenders.
20: Henderson Field on Guadalcanal receives its first American fighter planes.
21: Japanese counter-attack at Henderson Field; in another foray at the Tenaru (or Ilu) River, many Japanese are killed in a banzai charge.
22: Brazil declares war on the Axis countries, partly in response to numerous riots by a populace angry at the sinking of Brazilian ships.
: Stanislau "reprisal" aktion. - After many repeated organized killings, the current head of the Judenrat, Goldstein is publicly hanged along with 20 of the Jewish police. Jewish girls are raped before being shot at the Gestapo headquarters, and 1,000 Jews are shot and killed.[3]
23: Massive German air raid on Stalingrad.
24: The naval battle of the Eastern Solomons; the USS Enterprise is badly damaged and the Japanese lose one light carrier, the Ryujo.
26: Battle of Milne Bay begins: Japanese forces land and launch a full-scale assault on Australian base near the eastern tip of New Guinea.
27: Marshal Georgii Zhukov is appointed to the command of the Stalingrad defence; the Luftwaffe is now delivering heavy strikes on the city.
28: Incendiary bombs dropped by a Japanese seaplane causes a forest fire in Oregon.
30: The Battle of Alam Halfa, Egypt, a few miles south of El Alamein begins. This will be Rommel's last attempt to break through the British lines; RAF air superiority plays a large role.
Luxembourg is formally annexed to the German Reich.
31: Start of the 1942 Luxembourgish general strike against conscription.

September 1942
1: US Navy Construction Battalion personnel, Seabees, began to arrive at Guadalcanal.
3: The Battle of Stalingrad proper may be said to have begun on this date, with German troops in the suburbs; even civilian men and boys are conscripted by the Red Army to assist in the defence.
4: Irish Republican Army riots occur in Belfast during the night.
Manhattan Engineering District is formally created, full-effort production of the atomic bomb is begun.
Chief of State of Vichy France Philippe Pétain and Prime Minister Pierre Laval create what will become the Service du travail obligatoire (STO)
5: Australian and U.S. forces defeat Japanese forces at Milne Bay, Papua, the first outright defeat for Japanese land forces in the Pacific War. Their evacuation and the failure to establish an airbase eases the threat to Australia.
6: The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk is taken by the Germans.
9: A Japanese plane drops more incendiaries on Oregon, but with little effect.
10: RAF blasts Düsseldorf with large incendiary bombing.
12: RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs, is torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sinks.
: SS commander Brandt orders 3,000-4,000 Stanislau Jews deported to the Belzec death camp on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year holiday, and they were killed there that day.[3]
12-14: American troops push back the Japanese in the Battle of Edson's Ridge
13: The Battle for Stalingrad continues; it is now totally surrounded by the Germans. On the Soviet Union side General Vasily Chuikov is put in charge of the defence.
14: The Japanese retreat again from Henderson Field, Guadalcanal.
The Japanese are now within 30 miles of Port Moresby, New Guinea, on the Kokoda trail.
Continued convoy losses in the Atlantic.
15: Americans send troops to Port Moresby as reinforcements for the Australian defenders.
Light carrier USS Wasp is sunk by a Japanese submarine off Guadalcanal.
18: Battle of the "grain silo" in Stalingrad; the Germans are beaten back. The Red Army begins ferrying troops across the Volga at night.
19: Allied attack on Jalo, Libya is repulsed by Germans.
20: RAF bombs Munich and Saarbrücken.
The Greek Panhellenic Union of Fighting Youths blows up the offices of the pro-Nazi National-Socialist Patriotic Organisation in central Athens, thwarting attempts to raise a Greek volunteer legion for the Eastern Front.
23: General Rommel leaves North Africa for medical treatment in Germany.
23-27: In the Third Battle of Matanikau River, Guadalcanal, Japanese naval bombardment and landing forces nearly destroy Henderson field in an attempt to take it, but the land forces are soon driven back.
24: United States of America deploys the I Corps to the Pacific Theater.
28: The Japanese continue their retreat back down the Kokoda Track in New Guinea.
30: The Eagle Squadron (American volunteers in the RAF) are officially transferred to the US Army Air Force.
Hitler speaks to the nation and boasts that Stalingrad will be taken.

October 1942
3: First successful launch of A4-rocket at Peenemünde, Germany. The rocket flies 147 kilometres wide and reaches a height of 84.5 kilometres and is therefore the first man-made object reaching space.
4: British Commandos raid Sark, a Channel Island, capturing one German soldier.
6: By mutual arrangement, the Allies agree on a strategy whereby Americans will bomb in the daytime and the RAF at night.
7: Third Battle of the Matanikau
11: Battle of Cape Esperance.
On the Northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island. With the help of radar they sink one cruiser and several Japanese destroyers.
12: The Red Army methods of ferrying troops across the Volga and into Stalingrad directly seems to be a success, as the German advance comes to a halt.
The US 100th Infantry Battalion, a force of over 1,400 predominantly Nisei became active.
13: Heavy bombardment of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal by the Japanese navy.
14: A German U-boat sinks the ferry SS Caribou, killing 137.
18: Hitler issues Commando Order, ordering all captured commandos to be executed immediately.
Admiral William "Bull" Halsey is given command of the South Pacific naval forces.
21: Heavy RAF activity over El Alamein.
22: Conscription age in Britain reduced to 18.
American General Mark Clark secretly lands in Algeria to confer with Vichy officials and Resistance groups in preparation for impending Allied invasion.
23: Second Battle of El Alamein begins with massive Allied bombardment of German positions. Then Australian forces, mainly, begin advance while offshore British naval forces support the right flank (n.b. the ongoing concurrent victories being prepared at Guadalcanal and Stalingrad).
23: Battle for Henderson Field
24: US Navy Task Force 34, consisting of aircraft carriers, a variety of support ships, including Troop Ships and other vessels, set sail from Hampton Roads, Virginia with Patton's forces for Operation Torch, the landing in North Africa. The other two task forces of Operation Torch, the first American-led force to fight in the European and African theatres of war, depart Britain for Morocco.
Crisis at El Alamein: British tanks survive German 88mm fire; Montgomery orders the advance to continue despite losses.
25: Rommel hurriedly returns from his sickbed in Germany to take charge of the African battle. (His replacement, General Stumme, had died of a heart attack).
The Japanese continue their attacks on the Marines west of Henderson field.
26: The naval Battle of Santa Cruz. The Japanese lose many aircraft and have two aircraft carriers severely damaged. The USS Hornet is sunk and the USS Enterprise is damaged.
29: The Japanese continue to send troops as reinforcements into Guadalcanal.
In the United Kingdom, leading clergymen and political figures hold a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews.
United States 1st Armored Division moves from Northern Ireland to England.
31: The British make a critical breakthrough with tanks west of El Alamein; Rommel's mine fields fail to stop the Allied armour.

November 1942
The state of the allies and axis powers in November 1942.
1: Operation Supercharge, the Allied breakout at El Alamein, begins.
The Americans begin the Matanikau Offensive against the Japanese
3: Second Battle of El Alamein ends - German forces under Erwin Rommel are forced to retreat during the night.
American victory over the Japanese in the Koli Point action
6: Carlson's Patrol begins
8: Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of Vichy-controlled Morocco and Algeria, begins;
French resistance coup in Algiers, consisting of about 400 fighters neutralise the Vichyist XIXth Army Corps and the Vichyist generals (Juin, Darlan, etc.), contributing significantly to the immediate success of the operation.
The United States Combat Command "B" of the 1st Armored Division lands east and west of Oran as part of Operation Torch.
10: In violation of a 1940 armistice, Germany invades Vichy France; they are responding to the fact that French Admiral François Darlan has signed an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.
Oran, Algeria falls to US troops; 17 French ships are sunk at Oran, causing a rift between the French and the Allies. There are more Allied landings near the Tunisian border.
Montgomery begins a major British offensive beginning at Sollum on the Libya/Egypt border. The British reach Bardia on the 11th, Tobruk on the 12th, and Benghazi on the 18th.
Lieutenant General Montgomery is knighted and made a full General.
Churchill speaks: "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
11: Convoys reach Malta from Alexandria; an official announcement proclaims that the island is "relieved of its siege".
12: Battle of Guadalcanal - A climactic naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American naval forces. Notably, the USS Juneau is sunk with much of its crew, including the five Sullivan brothers.
The Red Army makes an attempt to relieve Stalingrad at Kotelnikov.
13: British Eighth Army recaptures Tobruk.
Battle of Guadalcanal: aviators from the USS Enterprise sink the Japanese battleship Hiei.
14: The USS Washington sinks the Japanese battleship Kirishima.
15: The naval battle of Guadalcanal ends. Although the United States Navy suffers heavy losses, it still retains control of the sea around Guadalcanal.
The British move westward in Tunisia .
British Eighth Army recaptures Derna.
17: Japanese send reinforcements into New Guinea; Americans are stymied at Buna.
18: Heavy British RAF raid on Berlin with few losses.
19: At Stalingrad the Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch Operation Uranus aimed at encircling the Germans in the city and thus turning the tide of battle in the USSR's favor.
20: The Allies take Benghazi, Libya; the Afrika Corps continues the retreat westward.
21: The Red Army attempt at encirclement of Stalingrad continues with obvious success.
American army moves to shove Japanese off the extreme western end of Guadalcanal.
22: Battle of Stalingrad: The situation for the German attackers of Stalingrad seems desperate during the Soviet counter-attack; General Friedrich Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German 6th Army is surrounded.
Red Army troops complete the encirclement of the Germans at Kalach, west of Stalingrad.
23: "Der Kessel"-- the Cauldron, a description of the heavy fighting at Stalingrad; Hitler orders General Paulus not to retreat, at any cost.
25: The encirclement of Stalingrad continues to stabilise. Hitler reiterates his demand of Paulus not to surrender.
Operation Harling: a team of British SOE agents, together with over 200 Greek guerrillas from both ELAS and EDES groups, blow up the Gorgopotamos railway bridge, in one of the war's biggest sabotage acts.
26: Hostilities erupt between the American and Australian soldiers in Brisbane. Fighting breaks out which results in multiple fatalities, it is dubbed the Battle of Brisbane
27: At Toulon, the French navy scuttles its ships (most notably the Dunkerque and Strasbourg) and submarines to keep them out of German hands; the French have declined another option – to join the Allied fleets in North African waters.
29: The Allied offensive in Tunisia meets with only minimum success.
30: The naval Battle of Tassafaronga (off Guadalcanal); this is a night action in which Japanese naval forces sink one American cruiser and damage three others.

December 1942
The state of the allies and axis powers in December 1942, showing allied progress in Northern Africa.
1: Gasoline rationing begins in the United States.
The US cruiser Northampton is sunk as Japanese destroyers attempt to come down "the Slot" to Guadalcanal.
2: Heavy fighting in Tunisia, as German forces are pushed into the final North African corner.
Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiate the first nuclear chain reaction. A coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" is sent to President Roosevelt.
4: The first US bombing of mainland Italy --Naples.
Carlson's patrol ends.
6: RAF bombs Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
RAF bombs Philips in Eindhoven NL
7: On the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, the USS New Jersey, America's largest battleship is launched (commissioned five months later).
British commandos conduct Operation Frankton a raid on shipping in Bordeaux harbour.
9: The Marines turn over Guadalcanal to the American army.
12: Rommel abandons El Agheila and retreats to Tripoli; the final stand will be at the Mareth line in southern Tunisia.
In a large operation named "Operation Winter Storm", the Germans attempt to break through to forces trapped in Stalingrad.
13: The Luftwaffe flies in meagre supplies to the beleaguered Stalingrad troops.
15: American and Australian troops finally push Japanese out of Buna, New Guinea.
Allies clash with Japanese troops in the Battle of the Gifu
22: The Germans begin a retreat from the Caucasus.
The battle for "Longstop Hill" begins; a key position outside Tunis, the Germans eventually take it and hold it until April.
The remainder of the United States 1st Armored Division arrived at North Africa for Operation Husky.
24: French Admiral Darlan, the former Vichy leader who had switched over to the Allies following the Torch landings, is assassinated in Algiers.
The United States reorganizes its Combat Arms Regiments with their Organic Battalions into Separate Groups and Battalions
25: American bombers hit Rabaul.
26: Heavy fighting continues on Guadalcanal, now focused on Mount Austen in the west.
28: The governor of pro-Vichy French Somaliland surrenders invading British and Free French forces.
31: In the Battle of the Barents Sea, the British win a strategic victory, leading Hitler to largely abandon the use of surface raiders in favor of U boats.
As the year comes to an end, things look bright for the Allies: Rommel is trapped in Tunisia, the Germans are encircled at Stalingrad, and the Japanese appear ready to abandon Guadalcanal.

January 1943
1: German 1st Panzer Division withdraws from the Terek River area in southern Russia to prevent encirclement.[1]
2: Americans and Australians recapture Buna, New Guinea.
7: Japanese land more troops at Lae, New Guinea.
9: United States Western Task Force redesignated I Armored Corps.
10: Soviet troops launch an all-out offensive attack on Stalingrad; they also renew attacks in the north (Leningrad) and in the Caucasus.
14: The Casablanca Conference of Allied leaders begins. Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt discuss the eventual invasion of mainland Europe, the impending invasion of Sicily and Italy, and the wisdom of the principle of "unconditional surrender".
15: The British start an offensive aimed at taking far-off Tripoli, Libya.
16: Iraq declares war on the Axis powers.
: The Royal Air Force begins a two-night bombing of Berlin.
18: The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rise up for the first time, starting the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
: Besieged defenders of Leningrad link up with relieving forces.
19: General Georgy Zhukov is promoted to Marshal as the Stalingrad struggle grinds to a close.
20: USS Silversides attacked a Japanese convoy 286 miles from Truk, Caroline Islands en route to the Solomon Islands, sinking transport Meiu Maru and damaging Surabaya Maru.[1]
21: Last airfield at Stalingrad is taken by Red forces, ensuring that the Luftwaffe will be unable to supply German troops any further; Hitler still demands that Friedrich Paulus continue the fight.
: Red Army armies have more victories in the Caucasus.
Field Marshal Paulus and his staff surrender in Stalingrad
22: Allies liberate Sanananda, New Guinea.
23: British capture Tripoli, Libya.
: Japanese continue their fight in western Guadalcanal; they now seem to have given up completely on the New Guinea campaign.
24: The Casablanca Conference ends; Allies insist on unconditional surrender from Germany.
: German forces in Stalingrad are in the last phases of collapse.
25: United States XIV Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
26: Soviet troops retake Voronezh.
27: 50 bombers mount the first all American air raid against Germany. Wilhelmshaven, the large naval base, is the primary target.
28: A new conscription law in Germany: men between 16 and 65 and women between 17 and 50 are open to mobilization.
: George Zhukov awarded the first Order of Suvorov 1st Class.
29: The naval battle of Rennell Island, near Guadalcanal, begins. The Japanese beat the Americans and the USS Chicago is lost.
: Another two-day bombing of Berlin by the RAF.
30: The last Japanese have cleared out of Guadalcanal by a brilliant evacuation plan undetected by the Americans.
31: Friedrich Paulus (Generalfeldmarschall in command of the German 6th Army) and his staff surrender to Soviet troops in Stalingrad.

February 1943
2: In the Soviet Union, the Battle of Stalingrad comes to an end with the official surrender of the German 6th Army. The German public is informed of this disaster, marking the first time the Nazi government has acknowledged a failure in the war effort.
: Rommel retreats farther into Tunisia, establishing his troops at the Mareth Line. Within two days, Allied troops move into Tunisia for the first time.
5: The Allies now have all of Libya under control.
: Essen is bombed, marking the beginning of a four-month attack on the Ruhr industrial area.
7: In the United States, it is announced that shoe rationing will go into effect in two days.
8: The Chindits (a "long range penetration group") under British General Orde Wingate begin an incursion into Burma.
: Nuremberg is heavily bombed.
: United States' VI Corps arrives in North Africa.
9: Guadalcanal is finally secured; it is the first major achievement of the American offensive in the Pacific war.
: Munich and Vienna are heavily bombed, along with Berlin.
11: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower is selected to command the Allied armies in Europe.
13: Rommel launches a counter-attack against the Americans in western Tunisia; he takes Sidi Bouzid and Gafsa. The Battle of the Kasserine Pass begins: inexperienced American troops are soon forced to retreat.
14: Rostov-on-Don is liberated by the Red Army;
16: Soviet Union reconquers Kharkov, but is later driven out in the Third Battle of Kharkov.
: Prime Minister of Vichy France Pierre Laval and Minister of Justice Joseph Barthélemy formally create the Service du travail obligatoire (STO)
18: In a speech at the Berlin Sportpalast German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels declares a "Total War" against the Allies; The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement, an anti-Nazi youth group.
: Chindits under Wingate cut the railway line between Mandalay and Myitkyina.
21: Americans take the Russell Islands, part of the Solomons chain.
22: Hans and Sophie Scholl of the White Rose movement are executed.
25: Japanese POWs refuse to work at Featherston prisoner of war camp, this escalates into a deadly clash between the inmates and the guards
26: Rommel retreats northward from the Mareth Line in Tunisia.
28: The SS United Victory, the first Victory ship, is launched; this class of transport will prove to be crucial in hauling men and supplies across the oceans.
: Operation Gunnerside: six Norwegians led by Joachim Rønneberg successfully attack the heavy water plant Vemork.

March 1943
Battle of Bismarck Sea
1: Battle of the Bismarck Sea. U.S. and Australian naval forces, over the course of three days, sink eight Japanese troop transports near New Guinea.
: Heinz Guderian becomes the Inspector-General of the Armoured Troops for the German Army.
2: Wingate's Chindits continue their localised strikes in Burma.
5: German advances around Kharkov threaten earlier Red Army gains.
: Continued RAF bombing of the Ruhr valley, particularly Essen.
6: Battle of Medenine, Tunisia. It is Rommel's last battle in Africa as he is forced to retreat.
8: Continuing German counter-attacks around Kharkov.
9: Members of the Calcutta Light Horse carry out a covert attack against a German merchantship, which had been transmitting Allied positions to U-boats from the Mormugao Harbour in Portugal's neutral territory of Goa.
10: The USAAF 14th Air Force is formed in China, under General Claire Lee Chennault, former head of the "Flying Tigers."
: The US House of Representatives votes to extend the Lend-Lease plan.
11: The Germans enter Kharkov and the fierce struggle with the Red Army continues.
13: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
14: Germans recapture Kharkov.
16: The first reports of the Katyn massacre in Poland seep to the West; reports say that more than 22,000 prisoners of war were killed by the NKVD, who eventually blame the massacre on the Germans.
: Stalin for the ninth time demands a "Second Front," accusing his allies of treachery.
17: Devastating convoy losses in the Atlantic due to increased U-boat activity; the middle of the Atlantic is apparently not sufficiently covered by planes or ships.
18: General George S. Patton leads his tanks of II Corps into Gafsa, Tunisia.
20: Montgomery's forces begin a breakthrough in Tunisia, striking at the Mareth line.
23: American tanks defeat the Germans at El Guettar, Tunisia.
24-25: Seventy-six Allied PoWs escape from Stalag Luft III in Sagan. This becomes known as the "Great Escape". Seventy-three were later recaptured; of these 50 were executed, 23 were sent back to prison camps and three escaped to freedom.
26: The British break through the Mareth line in southern Tunisia, threatening the whole German army. The Germans move north.
: Battle of the Komandorski Islands. In the Aleutian Islands United States Navy forces intercept Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska. Poor leadership on both sides leads to a stalemate of sorts, and the Japanese withdraw without achieving their goal.

April 1943
1: Allies continue to squeeze the Germans into the corner of Tunisia.
3: Racial tensions between American marines and New Zealand troops of Māori origin result in the Battle of Manners Street, a small-scale riot in which no lives were lost
4: The only large-scale escape of Allied prisoners-of-war from the Japanese in the Pacific takes place when ten American POWs and two Filipino convicts break out of the Davao Penal Colony on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. The escaped POWs were the first to break the news of the infamous Bataan Death March and other atrocities committed by the Japanese to the world.
7: Hitler and Mussolini come together at Salzburg, mostly for the purpose of propping up Mussolini's fading morale.
: Allied forces–the Americans from the West, the British from the East–link up near Gafsa in Tunisia.
: Bolivia declares war on Germany, Japan, and Italy.
10: The British 8th Army enters Sfax, Tunisia.
13: Radio Berlin announces the discovery by Wehrmacht of mass graves of Poles purportedly killed by Soviets in the Katyn massacre.
15: Finland officially rejects Soviet terms for peace.
: Heavy RAF raid on Stuttgart.
18: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, chief architect of Japanese naval strategy, is killed when his plane is shot down by American P38's over Bougainville. He was on an inspection tour.[1]
: The "Palm Sunday massacre": large numbers of German troop-transport aircraft are shot down before reaching Tunisia, where they were to pick up the isolated German troops.
19-30: The Bermuda Conference takes place in Hamilton, Bermuda. U.K. and U.S. leaders discuss the plight of the European Jews.[1]
19: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising: On the Eve of Passover, Jews resist German attempts to deport the Jewish community.[1][3]
19: In occupied Belgium, partisans attack the a railway convoy transporting Belgian Jews to Auschwitz. It is the largest attack on a Holocaust train of the war and 236 Jews escape.
26: The British finally take "Longstop Hill" in Tunisia, a key position on the breakout road to Tunis.
28: Allies attempt to close the mid-Atlantic gap in the war against the U-boats with long-range bombers.
30: Operation Mincemeat: Lt. Jewell's crew releases Martin's body near the Spanish coast. Later, the body washes up on the Spanish coast and is discovered by a local fisherman.

Photo from Jürgen Stroop's report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943 and one of the best-known pictures of World War II.
The original German caption reads: "Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs". The boy in the picture might be Tsvi Nussbaum, who survived the Holocaust.
May 1943
1: Allies close in on the cornered Germans in the Tunis area.
2: Japanese aircraft again bomb Darwin, Australia.
7: Tunis captured by British First Army. Meanwhile the Americans take Bizerte.
9: The Japanese begin a three-day massacre of civilians; about 30,000 Chinese are killed in the Changjiao massacre.
11: American troops invade Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
12: The Trident Conference begins in Washington, D.C. with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill taking part. The discussions are mostly on future strategy.
13: Remaining German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allied forces. The Allies take over 250,000 prisoners.
15: The French form a "Resistance Movement."
16: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends. The ghetto has been destroyed, with about 14,000 Jews killed and about another 40,000 sent to the death camp at Treblinka.
: The Dambuster Raids are carried out by RAF 617 Squadron on two German dams, Mohne and Eder. The Ruhr war industries lose electrical power.
17: The Germans launch their fifth major offensive against Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia.
19: Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress. He praises the partnership of the two Allies.
22: Allies bomb Sicily and Sardinia, both possible landing sites.
24: Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the majority of U-boats to withdraw from the Atlantic because of heavy losses to new Allied anti-sub tactics. By the end of the month, 43 U-boats are lost, compared to 34 Allied ships sunk. This is referred to as "Black May".
: Josef Mengele becomes Chief Medical Officer in Auschwitz.
29: RAF bombs Wuppertal, causing heavy civilian losses.
30: Attu Island is again under American control.
31: American B-17's bomb Naples.

June 1943
4: General Henri Giraud becomes Commander-in-Chief of the Free French forces.
8: Japanese forces begin to evacuate Kiska Island in the Aleutians, their last foothold in the Western hemisphere. The event is almost to the year of their landing.
11: British 1st Division takes the Italian island of Pantelleria, between Tunisia and Sicily, capturing 11,000 Italian troops.
12: The Italian island of Lampedusa, between Tunisia and Sicily, surrenders to the Allies.
13: Heavy US aircraft losses over Kiel.
17: Allies bomb Sicily and the Italian mainland, as signs increase of a forthcoming invasion.
21: Operation Cartwheel opens with landings by the United States 4th Marine Raider Battalion at Segi Point on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands, beginning the New Georgia Campaign. It will not be secured until August.
23: American troops land in the Trobriand Islands, close to New Guinea. The American strategy of driving up the Southwest Pacific by "Island Hopping" continues.
24: Continuing attacks against the Ruhr industrial valley. One result is the evacuation of large numbers of German civilians from the area.
30: American troops land on Rendova Island, New Georgia, another part of Operation Cartwheel.

July 1943
4: Exiled Polish leader General Władysław Sikorski dies in an air crash in Gibraltar.
5: Operation Citadel (the Battle of Kursk) begins.
: Conclusion of the National Bands Agreement in occupied Greece, which is to coordinate the actions of the Resistance movement in Greece.
6: U.S. and Japanese ships fight the Battle of Kula Gulf in the Solomons.
7: Walter Dornberger briefs the V-2 rocket to Hitler, who approves the project for top priority.
10: Operation Husky (the Allied invasion of Sicily) begins.
11: Ukrainian Insurgent Army massacres Poles at Dominopol.
12:/:13: The Japanese win a tactical victory at the Battle of Kolombangara.
12: The Battle of Prokhorovka begins; the largest tank battle in human history and part of the Battle of Kursk, it is the pivotal battle of Operation Citadel.
13: Hitler calls off the Kursk offensive, but the Soviets continue the battle.
19: The Allies bomb Rome for the first time.
21: The Operation Bellicose targeting of Friedrichshafen Würzburg radars is the first bombing of a V-2 rocket facility.
22: U.S. forces under Patton capture Palermo, Sicily.
24: Hamburg, Germany, is heavily bombed in Operation Gomorrah, which at the time is the heaviest assault in the history of aviation.
25: Mussolini is arrested and relieved of his offices after a meeting with Italian King Victor Emmanuel III, who chooses Marshal Pietro Badoglio to form a new government.

August 1943
1: Operation Tidal Wave: Oil refineries at Ploiești, Romania, are bombed by U.S. IX Bomber Command.[1][3]
: Japan declares independence for the State of Burma under Ba Maw.
2: 2,897 Romani are gassed when their camp at Auschwitz is liquidated.
: John F. Kennedy's PT-109 is rammed in two and sunk off the Solomon Islands.
3: The first of two "George S. Patton slapping incidents" occurs in Sicily.
5: Swedish government announces it will no longer allow German troops and war material to transit Swedish railways.[3]
: Russians recapture Orel[3] and Belgorod.
6/7: The U.S. wins the Battle of Vella Gulf off Kolombangara in the Solomons.
6: German troops start pouring in to take over Italy's defences.
11: German and Italian forces begin to evacuate Sicily.
15: The Land Battle of Vella Lavella island in the Solomons begins.
: US and Canadian troops invade Kiska Island in the Aleutians, not knowing the Japanese have already evacuated.
16: Polish Jews begin a futile resistance with scant weaponry in Białystok. The leaders commit suicide when they run out of ammo.
: U.S. troops enter Messina, Sicily.
17: All of Sicily now controlled by the Allies.
: Heavy loss of Allied bombers in the Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission.
: Operation Crossbow begins with Operation Hydra when the RAF bombs the Peenemünde V-2 rocket facility.
17/18: Portugal, referencing the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373, allows the Allies to use the Azores Islands for air and naval bases.
19: Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Quebec Agreement during the Quebec Conference.[10]
23: Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev liberates Kharkov, Ukraine. The Battle of Kursk has become the first successful major Soviet summer offensive of the war.
29: During the Occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany, martial law replaced the Danish government.
31: The Northwest African Air Forces conducts an air raid against the Italian city of Pisa.

September 1943
1: 22,750,000 British men and women are either in the services or Civil Defence or doing essential war work, according to the U.K. Ministry of labour.
3: A secret Italian Armistice is signed and Italy drops out of the war. Mainland Italy is invaded when the British XXIII Corps lands at Reggio Calabria.
: Nazi Germany begins the evacuation of civilians from Berlin.
4: Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria.
: The 503rd Parachute Regiment under American General Douglas MacArthur lands and occupies Nadzab, just west of the port city of Lae in northeastern New Guinea. Lae falls into Australian hands and Australian troops take Salamaua.
8: Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies. The Germans enact Operation Achse, the disarmament of Italian armed forces.
:The USAAF bombs the German General Headquarters for the Mediterranean zone at Frascati.
9: The Allies land at Salerno, Italy; meanwhile the British troops take Taranto in the heel of the Italian "boot".[1][3] Allied strategy aims at a "drive" up the "boot".
: Iran declares war on Germany.
10: German troops occupy Rome. The Italian fleet meanwhile surrenders at Malta and other Mediterranean ports.
11: British troops enter Bari in southeastern Italy.
12: Mussolini is rescued from a mountaintop captivity by German SS troops led by Otto Skorzeny.Mussolini is then set up by Hitler, who remains loyal to his old friend, as the head of the puppet "Italian Social Republic."
13: The Salerno beachhead is in jeopardy, as German counterattacks increase.
14: German troops commence the Holocaust of Viannos in Crete that will continue for two more days.
15: Chiang Kai-shek asks that General Stilwell, American military advisor/commander, be recalled for suggesting an alliance with the Communists.
16: British forces land on various Italian-held Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, beginning the Dodecanese Campaign.
: British and American troops link up near the Salerno beachhead.
19: German troops evacuate Sardinia.
21: The battle of the Solomons can now be considered at an unofficial end.
: The Massacre of the Acqui Division begins: After resisting for a week, the Italian Acqui division on the Greek island of Cephallonia surrenders to the Germans. During the next days, over 4,500 Italians are executed, and further 3,000 lost during transport at sea.
22: Australian forces land at Finschhafen, a small port in New Guinea. The Japanese continue the battle well into October.
: British midget submarines attack the German battleship Tirpitz, at anchor in a Norwegian fjord, crippling her for six months.
25: The Red Army retakes Smolensk.
26: Germans assault the island of Leros, beginning the Battle of Leros.
27: The Germans take over the island of Corfu from the Italians, the previous occupiers.
: Chiang Kai-shek has Mao Zedong's brother Mao Zemin and the Communist Party of China founder Chen Tanqiu executed.
28: The people of Naples, sensing the approach of the Allies, rise up against the German occupiers.
30: With the Gestapo starting to round up Danish Jews, certain Danes are secretly sending their Jewish countrymen to Sweden by means of dangerous boat crossings.

October 1943
Ruzagayura famine starts (until December 1944) in the Belgian African colony of Ruanda-Urundi
1: Neapolitans complete their uprising and free Naples from German military occupation.
3: Churchill appoints Lord Louis Mountbatten the commander of South East Asia Command.
3: The Germans conquer the island of Kos.
4: Corsica is liberated by Free French forces.
5: The Allies cross Italy's Volturno Line.
6: The Naval Battle of Vella Lavella completes the second phase of Operation Cartwheel.
7: 98 American civilian prisoners were executed on Wake Island.
9: United States VII Corps arrives in European Theater.
10: Chiang Kai-shek takes the oath of office as chairman of Nationalist Government (China).
12: Operation Cartwheel begins a bombing campaign against Rabaul.
13: Italy declares war on Germany.
14: 229 of 292 B-17s reached the target in the Second Raid on Schweinfurt. Losses are so heavy that the long range daylight bombing campaign is suspended until the bombers can be escorted by P-51 fighters.
Members of the Sobibor extermination camp underground, led by Polish-Jewish prisoner Leon Feldhendler and Soviet-Jewish POW Alexander Pechersky, succeeded in covertly killing eleven German SS officers and a number of camp guards. Although their plan was to kill all the SS and walk out of the main gate of the camp, the killings were discovered and the inmates ran for their lives under fire. About 300 out of the 600 prisoners in the camp escaped into the forests.
18: The Third Moscow Conference convened.
19: The German War Office contracts the Mittelwerk to produce 12,000 V-2 rockets.
22/23: An air raid on Kassel causes a seven day firestorm.
25: The Red Army takes Dnipropetrovsk.
28: Cruiser HMS Charybdis sunk, and destroyer HMS Limbourne damaged, by German torpedo boats off the North coast of Brittany with large loss of life. Bodies of 21 sailors and marines washed up on the Island of Guernsey. Buried with full military honours by the German Occupation authorities, allowing around 5,000 Islanders to attend and lay some 900 wreaths.
29: Troops replace striking London dockworkers.
31: Heavy rains in Italy slow the Allied advance south of Rome.

November 1943
1: In Operation Goodtime, United States Marines land on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. The fighting on this island will continue to the end of the war.
2: In the early morning hours, American and Japanese ships fight the inconclusive Battle of Empress Augusta Bay off Bougainville, but the Japanese are unable to land reinforcements.
2: British troops, in Italy, reach the Garigliano River.
5: The Italians bomb the Vatican in a failed attempt to knock out the Vatican radio.
6: The Red Army liberates the city of Kiev. This is an anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
9: Allies take Castiglione, Italy.
9: General De Gaulle becomes President of the French Committee of National Liberation.
9: Members of the Belgian Resistance publish a fake issue of the collaborationist newspaper Le Soir, mocking the German strategic situation.
11: American air power continues to hit Rabaul.
12: Germans overrun British forces on the Dodecanese islands, off Turkey.
14: Heavy bombers hit Tarawa, in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific.
15: Allied Expeditionary Force for the invasion of Europe is officially formed.
15: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies and "part-Gypsies" are to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps."
16: Anti-German resistance in Italy increases; there are explosions in Milan.
16: The Battle of Leros ends with the surrender of the British and Italian forces to the Germans.
16: 160 American bombers strike a hydro-electric power facility and heavy water factory in German-controlled Vemork, Norway.
16: Japanese submarine sinks surfaced submarine USS Corvina near Truk
18: 440 Royal Air Force planes bomb Berlin causing only light damage and killing 131. The RAF lose nine aircraft and 53 aviators.
19: Prisoners of the Janowska concentration camp stage a mass escape/uprising when they are ordered to cover up evidence of a mass-murder. Most are rounded up and killed
20: Battle of Tarawa begins - United States Marines land on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands and take heavy fire from Japanese shore guns. The American public is shocked by the heavy losses of life.
20: British troops under Montgomery continue their slow advances on the eastern side of Italy.
22: The Cairo Conference: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and ROC leader Chiang Kai-Shek meet in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss ways to defeat Japan.
23: Heavy damage from Allied bombing of Berlin. Notably, the Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstraße in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg is destroyed.
24: Heavy bombing of Berlin continues.
25: Americans and Japanese fight the naval Battle of Cape St. George between Buka and New Ireland. Admiral Arleigh Burke's destroyers distinguish themselves.
25: Rangoon is bombed by American heavy bombers.
26: The Red Army offensive in the Ukraine continues.
27: The Cairo Conference ("Sextant") ends; Roosevelt, Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek complete the Cairo Declaration, which deals with the overall strategic plan against Japan.
27: Huge civilian losses in Berlin as heavy bombing raids continue.
28: The Tehran Conference . US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin meet in Tehran to discuss war strategy; (on November 30 they establish an agreement concerning a planned June 1944 invasion of Europe codenamed Operation Overlord). Stalin at last has the promise he has been waiting for.

The Tehran conference (28 Nov 1943):Left to right: General Secretary of the Communist Party Joseph Stalin, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom.
29: Second session of AVNOJ, the Anti-fascist council of national liberation of Yugoslavia, is held in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, determining the post-war order of the country.
30: In Malaya, Japanese introduce the GOVERNMENT NOTIFICATION No. 41 to encourage families to grow their own food crops and vegetables. Families who are successful will be awarded prizes while family who fail to comply this notification or leave their vacant lands unplanted will be punished. This notification was written by Itami Masakichi (Penang Shu Chokan) on 25 November 2603/1943

December 1943
2: The Germans conduct a highly successful Air Raid on Bari, Italy. One of the German bombs hits an allied cargo ship carrying mustard gas, releasing the chemical which killed 83 allied soldiers. Over 1000 other soldiers died in the raid.
3: Edward R. Murrow delivers his classic "Orchestrated Hell" broadcast over CBS Radio describing a Royal Air Force nighttime bombing raid on Berlin.
4: Bolivia declares war on all Axis powers.
: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Josip Broz Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.
12: Rommel is appointed head of "Fortress Europa", chief planner against the expected Allied offensive.
13: German soldiers carry out the Massacre of Kalavryta in southern Greece.
: United States VIII Corps arrives in European Theater.
14: United States XV Corps arrives in European Theater.
16: Kalinin is retaken in a large Red Army offensive.
24: US General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
26: German battleship Scharnhorst is sunk off North Cape (in the Arctic) by an array of British cruisers and destroyer torpedoes.
26: American Marines land on Cape Gloucester, New Britain.
27: General Eisenhower is officially named head of Overlord, the invasion of Normandy.
28: In Burma, Chinese troops have some success against the Japanese.
29: Control of the Andaman Islands is handed over to Azad Hind by the Japanese

January 1944
4: The 1st Ukrainian Front of the Red Army enters Poland.
9: British forces take Maungdaw, Burma, a critical port for Allied supplies.
12: Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister and Mussolini's son-in-law is executed by Mussolini's revived Fascist government sympathisers.
17: The first Battle of Monte Cassino begins when the British X Corps attacks along the Garigliano river at the western end of the German Gustav Line.
19: Red Army troops push westward toward the Baltic countries.
: British Operation Outward accidentally claims lives in Sweden by causing a train crash by knocking out lighting
20: The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.
: The U.S. Army 36th Infantry Division, in Italy, attempts to cross the Rapido River but suffers heavy losses.
22: Allies begin Operation Shingle, the landing at Anzio, Italy, commanded by American Major General John P. Lucas. The Allies hope to break the stalemate in south Italy, but they are unable to break out of the beachhead and the line holds until late May.
23: The British destroyer HMS Janus is sank off Anzio.
24: The Allied forces have a major setback on the Rapido River.
30: United States troops invade Majuro, Marshall Islands.
: Japanese kill 44 suspected spies in the Homfreyganj massacre
: The Brazzaville Conference begins in French Equatorial Africa. During the conference (which lasts until 8 February), the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN) agrees to major reforms to the French colonial empire.
31: American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

February 1944
1: U.S. Marines mop up on Roi and Namur in the north part of the Kwajalein atoll.
2: The Narva front near the east border of Estonia is formed between the Soviet and German forces.
: Germans defeat American troops in the Battle of Cisterna near Anzio.[1]
3: The Russian Army takes prisoner two German Army corps at the Korsun pocket, south of Kiev.
: American planes bomb Eniwetok in the Marshalls, later to be a major B-29 base.
4: Kwajalein, the world's largest atoll and a major Japanese naval base, is secured.
5: The American Navy bombards the Kuril Islands, northernmost in the Japanese homelands.
7: In a radio interview, the last Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Uluots, as acting Head of State, supports mobilisation.
8: The plan for the invasion of France, Operation Overlord, is confirmed.
10: Winston Churchill urges Harold Alexander to order the Anzio generals to show more aggression.
11: German forces sent to relieve the Korsun pocket in Ukraine are now only 10 miles away.
14: The Russian 374th Rifle Regiment forms a bridgehead on the western shore of Lake Peipus. The Mereküla Landing Operation of the special unit of the Soviet Baltic Sea Fleet in the rear of the Germans at the Narva front at Mereküla is resisted.
: The underground organisation, the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia, is formed in Tallinn.
: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) headquarters are established in Britain by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower
: An anti-Japanese revolt on Java occurs.
15: The second Battle of Monte Cassino begins with the destruction of the historic Benedictine monastery on Monte Cassino by Allied bombing. The Allies believed the grounds were used as an observation post by the Germans.
: The Soviet bridgehead on the west coast of Lake Peipus is annihilated.
: Soviet Leningrad Front initiates the Narva Offensive, February 15–28.
16: Germans launch a major counter-attack at Anzio, threatening the American beachhead.
: Germans, with Panzer forces leading, fail to break out of the Korsun pocket.
: Diplomats from the USSR and Finland meet to sign an armistice.
17: American Marines land on Eniwetok.
18: The light cruiser HMS Penelope is torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Anzio with a loss of 415 crew.
: American naval air raid takes place on the Truk islands, a major Japanese naval base, but they will be one of the bypassed fortresses of the Japanese outer defence ring.
19: Leipzig, Germany is bombed for two straight nights. This marks the beginning of a "Big Week" bombing campaign against German industrial cities by Allied bombers.
20: A colonial military garrison in Luluabourg in the Belgian Congo mutinies, killing three.
22: John Lucas is replaced with major general Lucian Truscott at Anzio.
23: US Navy planes attack the Mariana Islands of Saipan, Guam and Tinian.
26: The "Big Week" bombing campaign comes to a successful conclusion; the American P-51 Mustang fighter with its long range proves invaluable in protecting American bombers over Germany.
: Red Air Force continues to bomb Helsinki, as Finland continues peace talks.
27: USS Cod sinks a Japanese merchant ship by torpedo.
28: The Admiralty Islands are invaded by U.S. forces, marked by the Battle of Los Negros and Operation Brewer. The struggle for this important fleet anchorage will continue until May. Rabaul is now completely isolated.
: Belgian industrialist Alexandre Galopin is assassinated in occupied Belgium by Flemish paramilitaries.

March 1944
1: The keels of USS Tarawa and USS Kearsarge are laid down.
: Anti-fascist strikes occur in northern Italy.
: Leningrad Front initiate the Narva Offensive, March 1–4
3: German forces around Anzio, having failed to drive the Allies from the beachhead, go over to a defensive posture.
6: Wingate's Chindits make several successful forays in Burma.
: The Soviet Air Force bombs Narva, the city is destroyed. The Leningrad Front initiates the Narva Offensive, March 6–24
: The Australians receive faulty intelligence that the Japanese are about to mount an attack on Western Australia, causing them to greatly bolster defenses there. When no attack comes, they return to their regular stations on the 20th
7: Japanese begin an invasion attempt on India, starting a four-month battle around Imphal.
8: American forces are attacked by Japanese troops on Hill 700 in the Bougainville; the battle that will last five days.
: A Red Army offensive on a wide front west of the Dnieper in the Ukraine forces the Germans into a major retreat.
9: The Soviet Long Range Aviation carries out an air raid on Tallinn, Estonia. The military objects are almost untouched. Approx. 800 civilians die and 20,000 people are left without a shelter.[8]
12: The creation of the Political Committee of National Liberation in Greece.
13: On Bougainville, Japanese troops end their failed assault on American forces at Hill 700.
15: The third Battle of Monte Cassino begins. The small town of Cassino is destroyed by Allied bombers.
: Americans take Manus Island in the Admiralty chain.
: The National Council of the French Resistance approves the Resistance programme.
16: United States XI Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
17: Heavy bombing of Vienna, Austria.
18: The Red Army approach Romanian border.
19: German forces occupy Hungary in Operation Margarethe.
: Yugoslav partisans attack Trieste, on the border of Italy and Croatia.
20: Red Army advances in the Ukraine continue with great success.
21: Finland rejects Soviet peace terms.
22: Japanese forces cross the Indian border all along the Imphal front.
: Frankfurt is bombed with heavy civilian losses.
24: The Fosse Ardeatine massacre in Rome, Italy. 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members various groups in the Italian Resistance; this is a German response to a bomb blast that killed German troops.
: Orde Wingate is killed in a plane crash.
: Heavy bombings of German cities at various strategic locations last for 24 hours.
25: Soviet air force bombs the city of Tartu, Estonia.[10]
26: On Narva front, Strachwitz Offensive destroys part of the Soviet bridgehead.[11]
28: Japanese troops are in retreat in Burma.
30: RAF suffers grievous losses in a huge air raid on Nuremberg.

April 1944
3: Allied bombers hit Budapest in Hungary, now occupied by the Germans, and Bucharest in Romania, ahead of the advancing Red Army.
4: General Charles de Gaulle takes command of all Free French forces.
5: US Air Force bombs Ploesti oil fields in Romania, with heavy losses.
6: The Japanese drive on the Plain of Imphal, supposedly halted, proves strong enough to surround British forces at Imphal and Kohima, in India.
8: The Red Army attacks in an attempt to retake all of the Crimea, the Germans retreat westward to Sevastopol.
10: Soviet forces enter Odessa, Ukraine.
11: Soviet forces take Kerch, beginning the reconquest of Crimea.
15: Heavy air raids on Ploesti oil fields (Romania) by both the RAF and the US Air Force.
16: Soviet forces take Yalta; most of Crimea is now liberated.
17: Japanese launch Operation Ichi-Go with over 600,000 men in central China. The objective is to conquer areas where American bombers are located. The first phase is the Battle of Central Henan.
21: The Badoglio government in Italy falls and he is quickly asked to form another.
: An Allied air raid on Paris kills a large number of civilians.
22: Operations Reckless and Persecution: US troops land at Hollandia and Aitape in northern New Guinea to cut off Japanese forces in Wewak.
24: British troops force open the road from Imphal to Kohima in India.
27: The Slapton Sands tragedy: American soldiers are killed in a training exercise in preparation for D-Day at Slapton in Devon.
30: Vast preparations for D-Day are going on all over southern England.
: American navy air raids continue in the Carolina Islands, including Truk.

May 1944
6: Heavy Allied bombings of the Continent in preparation for D-Day.
8: D-Day for Operation Overlord set for June 5.
9: Sevastopol in the Crimea is retaken by Soviet forces.
11: The fourth battle of Monte Cassino begins.
12: Large numbers of Chinese troops invade northern Burma.
13: The entirety of Crimea is under Soviet control. Many thousands of German and Romanian soldiers have been captured, but many thousands have been evacuated
: The bridgehead over the Rapido River is reinforced.
18: The Battle of Monte Cassino ends in Allied victory. Polish troops capture Monte Cassino. German troops in west Italy have withdrawn to the Hitler Line.
: Allied troops take airfields at Myitkyina, Burma, an important air base; the struggle over the city itself will continue for nearly three months.
: The last Japanese resistance in the Admiralty Islands, off New Guinea comes to an end.
21: Increased Allied bombing of targets in France in preparation for D-Day.
23: Allies start a new breakout from Anzio.
25: Allies at Anzio link up with Allies from south Italy. Though Harold Alexander wishes to trap the German Tenth Army, American Fifth Army commander Mark W. Clark orders Truscott to turn north toward Rome. The Germans in Italy form a new defensive position on the Caesar C line.
27: Operation Hurricane starts. Americans land on Biak, Dutch New Guinea, a key Japanese air base; stubborn Japanese resistance until August.
31: The Japanese retreat from Imphal (India) with heavy losses; their invasion of India is over.

June 1944
2: The provisional French government is established.
: The U.S. begins Operation Frantic with a bombing of Debrecen, Hungary.
3: There are daily bombings of the Cherbourg peninsula and the Normandy area.
4: Allies enter Rome, one day after the Germans declared it an open city. German troops fall back to the Trasimene Line.
: Operation Overlord is postponed 24 hours due to high seas.
5: Operation Overlord commences when more than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day. And the first Allied troops land in Normandy; paratroopers are scattered from Caen southward.
: In the Pacific, the U.S. fleet transporting the expeditionary forces for the invasion of Saipan in the Mariana Islands leaves Pearl Harbor.
6: D-Day begins with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.
7: Bayeux is liberated by British troops.
9: No agreement having been reached on their mutual borders, Joseph Stalin launches an offensive against Finland with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.
6th June 1944: A Navy LCVP disembarks troops at Omaha Beach.
10: At Oradour-sur-Glane (a town near Limoges), France, 642 men, women, and children are killed in a German response to local Resistance activities.
: In the Distomo massacre in Greece, 218 civilians are killed.
12: American aircraft carriers commence air strikes on the Marianas, including Saipan, preparing for invasion.
13: Germany launches a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England, in Hitler's view a kind of revenge for the invasion. He believes in Germany's victory with this "secret weapon." The V-1 attacks will continue through June.
: The U.S. Naval bombardment of Saipan begins. In response, Admiral Toyoda Soemu, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy, orders his fleet to attack U.S. Navy forces around Saipan.
15: U.S. Marine and Army forces invade the island of Saipan. U.S. submarines sight the Japanese fleet en-route.
17: Free French troops land on Elba.
18: Elba is declared liberated.
: Allies capture Assisi, Italy.
19-20: The Battle of the Philippine Sea, nicknamed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot by Americans, takes place. The United States Fifth Fleet wins a decisive naval battle over the Imperial Japanese Navy near the Mariana Islands. Over 200 Japanese planes are shot down while the Americans only lose 29 to enemy action.
19: A severe Channel storm destroys one of the Allies' Mulberry harbours in Normandy.
: The Red Army prepares for "Operation Bagration," a huge offensive in Byelorussia (White Russia).
20: The British take Perugia, Italy.
: The Siege of Imphal is lifted after three months.
21: Allied offensive in Burma.
22: V-1's continue to hit England, especially London, sometimes with horrifying losses.
: Operation Bagration: General attack by Soviet forces to clear the German forces from Belarus This results in the destruction of the German Army Group Centre, possibly the greatest defeat of the Wehrmacht during World War II.
: In the Burma Campaign, the Battle of Kohima ends with a British victory.
23: The National Committee of the Republic of Estonia makes a declaration “to the Estonian People.” The declaration was made public to the world press in Stockholm in July 1944 and in Tallinn on 1 August 1944.
25: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala between Finnish and Soviet troops begins. Largest battle ever to be fought in the Nordic countries.
26: Cherbourg is liberated by American troops.

July 1944
1: The Leningrad diarist Tanya Savicheva dies of starvation at the age of 14. Her diary of her family's death during the siege becomes famous.
2: V-1's continue to have devastating effects in South-East England in terms of material destruction and losses of life.
3: Minsk in Belarus is liberated by Soviet forces.
3: The Allies find themselves in the "battle of the hedgerows", as they are stymied by the agricultural hedges in Western France which intelligence had not properly evaluated.
3: Siena, Italy falls to Algerian troops of the French forces.
6: Largest Banzai charge of the war: 4,300 Japanese troops are slaughtered on Saipan.
7: Soviet troops enter Vilnius, Lithuania.
9: After heavy resistance Caen, France is liberated by the British troops on the left flank of the Allied advance.
9: Saipan is declared secure, the Japanese having lost over 30,000 troops; in the last stages numerous civilians commit suicide with the encouragement of Japanese military.
10: Japanese are still resisting on New Guinea.
10: Tokyo is bombed for the first time since the Doolittle raid of April, 1942.
11: President Roosevelt announces that he will run for an unprecedented fourth term as U.S. President.
12: Hitler rejects General Field Marshal Walther Model’s proposal to withdraw the German forces from Estonia and Northern Latvia and retreat to the Daugava River.
13: The Soviets take Vilnius, Lithuania.
13: The Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive begins.
16: First troops of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) arrive in Italy
17: Field Marshal Rommel is badly wounded when his car is strafed from the air in France.
18: St. Lo, France is taken, and the Allied breakout from hedgerow country in Normandy begins.
18: General Hideki Tojo resigns as chief minister of the Japanese government as the defeats of the Japanese military forces continue to mount. Emperor Hirohito asks General Kuniaki Koiso to form a new government.
19: American forces take Leghorn (Livorno), Italy far up the Italian boot.
20: The July 20 Plot (Valkyrie) is carried out by Col. Claus von Stauffenberg in a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. Hitler was visiting headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia. Reprisals follow against the plotters and their families, and even include Rommel.
21: US Marines land on Guam.
22: Hitler gives permission to retreat from the Narva River to the Tannenberg defence line in the Sinimäed hills 20 km West from Narva.
23: The Poles rise up against the Germans in the Lwow Uprising
24: At the start of the Soviet Narva Offensive, July 24–30, the Soviet 8th Army is beaten by the Estonian 45th Regiment and East Prussian 44th Regiment. The army detachment "Narwa" begins to retreat to the Tannenberg line.
24: Majdanek Concentration Camp is liberated by Soviet forces, the first among many. The Soviet Union is now in control of several large cities in Poland, including Lublin.
24: US bombers mistakenly bomb American troops near St. Lo, France.
24: Marines land on Tinian Island, last of the Marianas (after Saipan and Guam); Tinian will eventually be a B-29 base, and the base from which the atomic bombers departed.
24: Operation Cobra is now in full swing: the breakout at St. Lo in Normandy with American troops taking Coutances.
26: The Leningrad Front's Narva Offensive captures the town.[10]
26: The first aerial victory for a jet fighter occurs, with an Me 262 of the Luftwaffe's Ekdo 262 damaging a de Havilland Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft of the Royal Air Force's No. 540 Squadron RAF.
27 July to 10 August: Battles on the Tannenberg Line. At the start of the battles there are 25 Estonian and 24 Dutch, Danish and Flemish infantry battalions on the German side at the Narva Front. The artillery forces, and the tank, engineer and other special units are composed mainly of Germans. The attack by the Soviet Armed Forces is stopped, tens of thousands of men are killed in both sides.
28: The Red Army take Brest-Litovsk, the site of the Russo-German peace treaty in World War I.
29: A decisive day in the Battle of Narva, allowing the German army detachment "Narwa", including Estonian conscript formations to delay the Soviet Baltic Offensive for another one and a half months.[10]

August 1944
1: The Second Warsaw Uprising, this time by the Polish Home Army commences; the Polish people rise up, expecting aid from the approaching Soviet Union armies. The tragic event will last 63 days.
1: The Red Army isolates the Baltic States from East Prussia by taking Kaunas.
1: The Americans complete the capture of the island of Tinian.
2: The battle for Guam, another island in the Marianas, however, continues.
3: Myitkyina in northern Burma, falls to the Allies (the Chinese and Americans under Stilwell), after a vigorous defence by the Japanese.
4: Florence is liberated by the Allies, particularly British and South African troops; before exiting, however, the Germans under General Kesselring destroy some historic bridges and historically valuable buildings.
4: The trials of the bomb conspirators against Hitler are underway in a court presided over by notorious Judge Roland Freisler.
4: Rennes is liberated by American forces.
5: Japanese POWs escape from an Australian prison near the town of Cowra. Two guards are killed and posthumously awarded the George Cross (See: Cowra breakout)
6: Germans round up young men in Krakow to stop the potential Krakow Uprising
6: Ukrainian insurgents kill 42 Polish civilians in the Baligrod massacre.
8: Plotters in the bomb plot against Hitler are hanged, their bodies hung on meat hooks; reprisals against their families continue.
9: President Roosevelt chooses general General Douglas MacArthur's plan to invade the Philippines and turns down Admiral Chester W. Nimitz's plan to invade Taiwan.[1]
10: Guam is liberated by American troops and all of the Marianas are now in American hands. They will be turned into a major air and naval centre against the Japanese homeland.
11: The Warsaw Rising continues; the Red Army remain on the west side of the Vistula, apparently unwilling to help their supposed allies against the occupying Germans.
14: The failure of the Allies to close the Falaise gap in France, proves advantageous to the Germans fleeing to the east who escape the pincer movement of the Allies.
14: A clash between Italian POWs and American servicemen ends in the Fort Lawton Riot
15: The Allies reach the "Gothic Line", the last German strategic position in North Italy.
15: Operation Dragoon begins, marked by amphibious Allied landings in southern France.
16: The Red Armies makes moves to close in on Warsaw.
18: The Red Army reaches the East Prussian border.
18: Following the assassination of a collaborationist politician in Belgium by the resistance, 20 civilians are massacred in Courcelles by paramilitaries in retaliation
19: French Resistance begins uprising in Paris, partly inspired by the Allied approach to the Seine River.
19: In a radio broadcast, Jüri Uluots, the acting Head of State of Estonia, calls the Estonian conscripts to hold the Soviet Armed Forces back until a peace treaty with Germany is signed.

Polish Boy Scouts played an important role in the Warsaw Uprising
20: The Red Army relaunches its offensive into Romania.
21: The Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins, setting up the basic structure of the United Nations.
22: The Japanese are now in total retreat from India.
23: Romania breaks with the Axis, surrenders to the Soviet Union, and joins the Allies.
24: 168 Allied airmen arrive at Buchenwald concentration camp.
25: Paris is liberated; De Gaulle and Free French parade triumphantly down the Champs-Élysées. The German military disobeys Hitler's orders to burn the city. Meanwhile the southern Allied forces move up from the Riviera, take Grenoble and Avignon.
28: The Germans surrender at Toulon and Marseilles, in southern France.
28: Patton's tanks cross the Marne.
29: The anti-German Slovak National Uprising starts in Slovakia.
30: The Allies enter Rouen, in northwestern France.
31: The Soviet army enters Bucharest.
31: American forces turn over the government of France to Free French troops.

September 1944
1: Canadian troops capture Dieppe, France.
2: Allied troops enter Belgium.
3: Brussels liberated by British Second Army.
: Lyon is liberated by French and American troops.
4: A cease fire takes effect between Finland and the Soviet Union.
: Operation Outward ends.
5: Antwerp is liberated by British 11th Armoured Division and local resistance.
: The uprising in Warsaw continues; Red Army forces are available for relief and reinforcement, but are apparently unable to move without Stalin's order.
: United States III Corps arrives in European Theater.
: Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourgish governments in exile sign the London Customs Convention, laying the foundations for the Benelux economic union.
6: The "blackout" is diminished to a "dim-out) as threat of invasion and further bombing seems an unlikely possibility.
: Ghent and Liège are liberated by British troops.
8: Ostend is liberated by Canadian troops.
: Soviet Union invades Bulgaria. Bulgaria declares war on Germany.
: The Belgian government in exile returns to the Belgium from London where it has spent the war.
9: The first V-2 rocket lands on London.
: De Gaulle forms a provisional government in France
: Bulgaria makes peace with the USSR then declares war on Germany.
10: Luxembourg is liberated by U.S. First Army.
: Two Allied forces meet at Dijon, cutting France in half.
: First Allied troops enter Germany, entering Aachen, a city on the border.
: Dutch railway workers go on strike. The German response results in the Dutch famine of 1944.
11: United States XXI Corps arrives in European Theater.
13: American troops reach the Siegfried line, the West wall of Germany's defence system.
Waves of paratroops land in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
14: Soviet Baltic Offensive commences.
15: American Marines land on Peleliu in the Palau Islands; a bloody battle of attrition continues for two and a half months.
16: The Red Army enters Sofia, Bulgaria.
17: Operation Market Garden, the attempted liberation of Arnhem and turning of the German flank begins.
17: Assorted British and commonwealth forces enter neutral San Marino and engage German forces in a small-scale conflict known as the Battle of San Marino
18: Brest, France, an important Channel port, falls to the Allies.
: Jüri Uluots proclaims the Government of Estonia headed by Deputy Prime Minister Otto Tief.[18]
19: The Moscow Armistice is signed between the Soviet Union and Finland, bringing the Continuation War to a close.
: Nancy liberated by U.S. First Army
20: The Government of Estonia seizes the government buildings of Toompea from the German forces and appeals to the Soviet Union for the independence of Estonia.
: United States XVI Corps arrives in European Theater.
20: The Battle of San Marino ends
21: British forces take Rimini, Italy.
: The Second Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins: it will set guidelines for the United Nations.
: In Belgium, Charles of Flanders is sworn in as Prince-Regent while a decision is delayed about whether King Leopold III can ever return to his functions after being accused of collaboration.
: San Marino declares war on the Axis
: The Government of Estonia prints a few hundred copies of the Riigi Teataja (State Gazette) and is forced to flee under the Soviet pressure.
22: The Red Army takes Tallinn, the first Baltic harbour outside the minefields of the Gulf of Finland.
: The Germans surrender at Boulogne.
23: Americans take Ulithi atoll in the Carolina Islands; it is a massive atoll that will later become an important naval base.
24: The Red Army is well into Poland at this time.
25: British troops pull out of Arnhem with failure of Operation Market Garden. Over 6,000 paratroopers are captured. Hopes of an early end to the war are abandoned.
: United States IX Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
26: There are signs of civil war in Greece as the Communist-controlled National Liberation Front and the British-backed government seem irreconcilable.
30: German garrison in Calais surrenders to Canadian troops. At one time, Hitler thought it would be the focus of the cross-Channel invasion.

October 1944
1: A Hungarian delegation arrives in Moscow , Russia to negotiate an armistice with the USSR.
: Soviet troops enter Yugoslavia.
2: Germans finally succeed in putting down Warsaw Uprising by Polish Home Army. The Soviet Union armies have never moved to assist the Polish Home Army.
: American troops are now in a full-scale attack on the German "West Wall".
: Allied forces land on Crete.
5: Canadian troops cross the border into the Netherlands.
: Red Army enters Hungary; meanwhile they launch an offensive to capture Riga, Latvia.
6: Soviet and Czechoslovak troops enter northeastern Slovakia.
: The Battle of Debrecen begins as German and Soviet forces advance against each other in eastern Hungary.
9: Allied Conference ("Tolstoy") in Moscow: Churchill and Stalin discuss spheres of influence in the postwar Balkans.
10: The Red Army reach the Niemen River in Prussia and continue the battle around Riga.
: The Allied combined forces take Corinth, in southern Greece.
12: Athens is liberated by EAM and evacuated by German troops.
: US Navy carriers attack Formosa (Taiwan).
: The Second Quebec Conference ("Octagon"). President Roosevelt and Churchill discuss military cooperation in the Pacific, and the division of Germany.
: United States XXIII Corps Arrives in European Theater.
14: British troops entering Athens.
: Field Marshal Rommel, under suspicion as one of the "bomb plotters" voluntarily commits suicide to save his family. He is later buried with full military honors.
15: Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy is overthrown by the Germans, who replace him with Ferenc Szálasi.
: Allied bombardment of Aachen continues, the first major battle on German soil.
16: The Red Army and Yugoslav partisans under the command of Josip Broz Tito liberate Belgrade. The Red Army forces are also in East Prussia.
18: Hitler orders a call-up of all men from 16 to 60 for Home Guard duties.
20: Soviet forces in command of General Zhukov, with help of Yugoslavia Partizan and Chetnik forces liberated Belgrade.
: The Battle of Leyte: U.S. forces land on Leyte, Philippines. MacArthur lands and states: "I have returned".
21: Aachen is occupied by U.S. First Army; it is the first major German city to be captured.
23-26: The Battle of Leyte Gulf: The United States Third Fleet and United States Seventh Fleet wins a decisive naval battle over the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Philippine Islands.
23: The Allies recognise General de Gaulle as the head of a provisional government of France.
: B-29's are now using Tinian Island, in the Marianas, as a base for the systematic bombing of Japan. Soviet forces in cooperation with Tito's Partizan forces, liberated Novi Sad in Yugoslavia (Serbia today)
25: Romania is fully liberated by Red Army and Romanian troops.
27: The Battle of Hürtgen Forest is developing, and will continue through October and November and have its last spasms in December.

November 1944
1: British forces take Salonika in northern Greece. The situation for civilians in Athens is now desperate.
: "Operation Infatuate": An Allied attempt to free the approaches to Antwerp; notably there are amphibious landings on Walcheren Island.
2: Canadian troops take Zeebrugge in Belgium; Belgium is now entirely liberated.
4: Remaining Axis forces withdraw from the Greek mainland. German occupation forces will remain in several Greek islands until capitulation.
British Gen. John Dill dies in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, the only foreigner to be so honored.
5: US planes bomb Singapore, under Japanese control since 1942.
: Zionist terrorists assassinate the British government representative in the Middle East.
6: Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins a fourth term.
: The aircraft carrier USS Lexington is heavily damaged by kamikazes.
9: General Patton's troops and tanks cross the Moselle River and threaten the city of Metz.
10: V-2 rockets continue to hit Britain, at the rate of about eight a day.
12: After numerous bombings while anchored in a fjord at Tromso, Norway, the German battleship Tirpitz is sunk.
17: The Germans give up Tirana, Albania, and the capital is liberated by the Albanian partisans (Allies).
21: San Marino declares war on Germany
20: Hitler leaves his wartime headquarters at Rastenberg, East Prussia, never to return; he goes to Berlin, where he will soon establish himself at the bunker.
23: Metz, France is taken, and Strasbourg, in eastern France, is liberated by French troops.
24: The first B-29 originating from Tinian, in the Marianas, raid Tokyo.
: The USS Intrepid is hit by kamikazes for the third time; other American ships are heavily damaged.
25: Japanese take Nanning in south China, as the war in that theatre continues.
26: The war in Italy is at a stalemate, partly because of heavy rains.
28: Antwerp is now a major supply port for the onward moving Allies.
30: Kunming, China, an important air base, is threatened by Japanese attacks.
: United States XXII Corps Arrives in European Theater.

December 1944
1: Heinrich Himmler ordered the crematoriums and gas chambers of Auschwitz Concentration Camp dismantled and blown up.
3: The Dekemvriana ("December events") begin in the Greek capital, Athens, between members of the leftist National Liberation Front and government forces, backed by the British. The clashes are limited to Athens however, and the rest of the country remains relatively tranquil.
3: The British Home Guard is stood down.
5: The Allies are now in control of Ravenna, Italy.
8: The softening up bombardment of Iwo Jima begins.
14: Japanese defenders in Palawan in the Philippines kill over 100 American POW's in the Palawan Massacre.
: Units of Air Group 80 from USS Ticonderoga flew seven strikes against Japanese positions in northern Luzon in the Philippine.
15: Americans and Filipinos land troops at Mindoro island in the Philippines.
16: The Battle of the Bulge begins as German forces attempt a breakthrough in the Ardennes region. The main object of Hitler's plan is the taking of Antwerp.
17: A typhoon hits the Third Fleet of Admiral Halsey; three destroyers capsize.
17: The Malmedy massacre: SS troops execute 86 American prisoners in the Ardennes offensive. The SS troops are led by SS commander Jochen Peiper.
18: Bastogne, an important crossroads, is surrounded.
20: General McAuliff's famous message of "Nuts" is sent to German officers at Bastogne demanding surrender.
22: The battle for Bastogne is at its height, with Americans running low on ammunition.
23: The skies clear over the Ardennes, permitting Allied aircraft to begin their attacks on the German offensive, the one factor that Hitler feared in his planning.
24: The American counter-attack at the "Bulge" begins.
24: The Belgian transport ship SS Leopoldville is sunk off the coast of France. More than 800 lives, predominantly those of American servicemen, are lost.
24: Manchester is attacked by V1 flying bombs
26: The siege of Bastogne is broken, and with it the Ardennes offensive proves a failure.
26: Racial tensions within the US military boil over into the Agana race riot on Guam
28: Churchill and his Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden are in Athens in an attempt to reconcile the warring factions.
29: Soviet troops begin the Siege of Budapest.
31: The Soviet-backed Hungarian Provisional Government declares war on Germany.


January 1945
1: The Germans begin a surprise offensive Operation Nordwind along the Saar and aimed at retaking Strasbourg.
1: Unternehmen Bodenplatte is launched by the Luftwaffe against western Allied air bases in Belgium and Holland by elements of ten different Jagdgeschwadern (fighter wings), as its last major air offensive of the war in the West.
1: American troops kill dozens of German POWs at Chenogne
2: The Japanese increasingly use kamikaze tactics against the US naval forces nearby.
2: 46 American B-29 bombers based near Calcutta, India attacked a railroad bridge near Bangkok, Thailand and other targets in the area.
3: The Allies take the offensive east of the Bulge but they fail to close the pincers (which might have surrounded large numbers of Germans) with Patton's tanks.
4: US navy air attacks on Formosa (Taiwan)
5: The German offensive "North Wind" crosses the border into Alsace.
5: Japanese retreat across the Irrawaddy River in Burma with General Slim's troops in pursuit.
6: American B-29's bomb Tokyo again.
7: Germans, as part of the plan to retake Strasbourg, break out of the "Colmar Pocket", a bridgehead on the Rhine, and head east.
8: The battle of Strasbourg is underway, with Americans in defence of their recent acquisition.
9: Americans land on Luzon, the central island of the Philippines and there inside by the Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerillas; there are more kamikaze attacks on the American navy.
11: The first convoy moves on the Ledo (or "Stilwell") road in northern Burma, linking India and China.
12: The East Prussian Offensive, a major Red Army offensive in East Prussia, begins on January 13th.
13: 1st Byelorussian Front launched its winter offensive towards Pillkallen, East Prussia, Germany, meeting heavy resistance from the German 3rd Panzer Army.
14: British forces clear the Roer Triangle during Operation Blackcock; it is an area noted for its industrial dams.
15: Hitler is now firmly ensconced in the bunker in Berlin with his companion Eva Braun.
15: The British commander in Athens, General Ronald Scobie, accepts a request for a ceasefire from the Greek People's Liberation Army. This marks the end of the Dekemvriana, resulting in clear defeat for the Greek Left.

January 1945
16: United States First and Third Armies link up following Battle of the Bulge; Soviet troops meanwhile lay siege to Budapest.
17: Warsaw liberated by Red Army troops. A government favourable to the Communists is installed.
17: It is announced officially that the Battle of the Bulge is at an end.
18: Americans drive on Manila.
20: The Red Army advances into East Prussia. Germans renew the retreat.
20: Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn in as President (his fourth term); Harry Truman is sworn in as Vice President.
25: American navy bombards Iwo Jima in preparation for invasion.
25: The Allies officially win the Battle of the Bulge.
27: Auschwitz concentration camp is liberated by Soviet troops.
28: The Red Army completes the occupation of Lithuania.
31: Red Army crosses the Oder River into Germany and are now less than 50 miles from Berlin.
31: A second invasion on Luzon by Americans by inside to the Filipino soldiers and guerrilla fighters, this time on the west coast.
31: The whole Burma Road is now opened as the Ledo Road linkage with India is complete.

February 1945
1: Ecuador declares war on Germany.
2: Naval docks at Singapore are destroyed by B-29 attacks.
3: U.S. forces enter Manila by helping with the Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerillas, Japanese forces in the city massacre 100,000 Filipinos civilians and devastate the city. A vicious urban battle ensues, to last for some weeks. Also known as Battle for Liberation of Manila
3: Heavy bombing of Berlin.
4: Yalta Conference ("Argonaut" of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin begins; the main subject of their discussions is postwar spheres of influence.
4: Belgium is now cleared of all German forces.
8: Paraguay declares war on Germany.
9: The "Colmar Pocket", the last German foothold west of the Rhine, is eliminated.
12: Peru declares war on Germany.
13: The Battle of Budapest ends with Soviet victory, after a long defence by the Germans.
13/14: The controversial bombing of Dresden; it is firebombed by Allied air forces and large parts of the historic city are destroyed. Allies claim it is strategically important.
14: Bombing of Prague; later called a mistake on the order of the bombing of Dresden.
15: Venezuela declares war on Germany and Japan.
16: American naval vessels bombard Tokyo and Yokohama.
16: American paratroopers and the Philippine Commonwealth troops land on Corregidor Island, in Manila Bay. Once the scene of the last American resistance in early 1942, it is now the scene of Japanese resistance.
19: U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
21: Vicious fighting in and around Manila was joint by Filipino and American troops.
23: U.S. Marines raise the American flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
24: Egypt declares war on Axis.
24: Massive bombing of Germany by approximately 9,000 bombers.
25: US incendiary raids on Japan.
25: Turkey declares war on Germany.
25: After ten days of fighting, American and Filipino troops recapture Corregidor.
26: Syria declares war on Germany and Japan.
28: The Sixth United States Army captures Manila, capital of the Philippines by continued the Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerrilla fighters after an unyielding Japanese defence force. A Philippine government is established.
28: The combined Filipino and American military forces increase their presence in the Philippines by invading Palawan, a western island in the group.

March 1945
3: The combined Filipino and American soldiers take Manila, the Philippines.
3: Battle of Meiktila, Burma comes to an end with General Slim's troops overwhelming the Japanese; the road to Rangoon is now cleared.
3: The allies attempted to destroy V-2s and launching equipment near The Hague by a large-scale bombardment, but due to navigational errors the Bezuidenhout quarter was destroyed, killing 511 Dutch civilians.
4: Finland declares war on Germany, backdated to September 15, 1944.
6: Germans launch an offensive against Soviet forces in Hungary.
7: When German troops fail to dynamite the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine, Americans begin crossing the Rhine into Germany.
7: Germans begin to evacuate Danzig.
9: The US firebombs a number of cities in Japan, including Tokyo, with heavy civilian casualties.
9: Amid rumours of a possible American invasion, Japanese overthrow the Vichy French Jean Decoux Government which had been operating independently as the colonial government of Vietnam: they proclaim an "independent" Empire of Vietnam, with Emperor Bảo Đại as nominal ruler. Premier Trần Trọng Kim forms the first Vietnamese government.
10: Japanese Fugo Attacks damage the Manhattan Project slightly but cause no lasting effects
11: Nagoya, Japan is firebombed by hundreds of B-29's.
15: V-2 rockets continue to hit England and Belgium.
16: The German offensive in Hungary ends with another Soviet victory.
16: Iwo Jima is finally secured after a month's fighting;the battle is the only time that the number of American casualties is larger than the Japanese's. Sporadic fighting will continue as isolated Japanese fighters emerge from caves and tunnels.
18: Red Army approaches Danzig (postwar Gdańsk).
19: Heavy bombing of important naval bases in Japan, Kobe and Kure.
19: Deutsch Schutzen massacre occurs, in which 60 Jews are killed
20: German General Gotthard Heinrici replaces Heinrich Himmler as commander of Army Group Vistula, the army group directly opposing the Soviet advance towards Berlin.
20: Mandalay liberated by Indian 19th Infantry Division.
20: Tokyo is firebombed again.
20: Patton's troops capture Mainz, Germany
20: Mandalay, in central Burma, is now firmly under British and Indian control.
21: British air raid on a Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, in support of the Danish resistance movement takes place.
22-23: US and British forces cross the Rhine at Oppenheim.
23: By this time it is clear that Germany is under attack from all sides.
24: Montgomery's troops cross the Rhine at Wesel.
27: The Western Allies slow their advance and allow the Red Army to take Berlin.
28: Argentina declares war on Germany, the last Western hemisphere country to do so; its policies for sheltering escaping Nazis are also coming under scrutiny. Argentina had not declared war before due to British wishes that Argentine shipping be neutral (and therefore Argentine foodstuffs would reach Britain unharmed), this, however, went against the plan of the USA, who applied much political pressure on Argentina.
29: The Red Army enters Austria. Other Allies take Frankfurt; the Germans are in a general retreat all over the centre of the country.
30: Red Army forces capture Danzig.
31: General Eisenhower broadcasts a demand for the Germans to surrender.

April 1945
1: U.S. troops start Operation Iceberg, which is the Battle of Okinawa. It would have been a leaping off base for a mainland invasion.
1: Americans retake Legaspi, Albay in the eastern Philippines was helping the Philippine Commonwealth troops and Bicolano guerillas, one of the original Japanese landing sites in December,1941.
2: Soviets launch Vienna Offensive against German forces in and around the Austrian capital city.
2: German armies are surrounded in the Ruhr region.
4: Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic, is overrun by advancing Soviet forces. The remaining members of Prime Minister Jozef Tiso's pro-German government fled to Austria.
4: Ohrdruf death camp is liberated by the Allies.
5: Po Valley Campaign begins in northern Italy.
7: The Japanese battleship Yamato is sunk in the North of Okinawa as the Japanese make their last major naval operation.
9: Battle of Königsberg ends in Soviet victory.
9: A heavy bombing at Kiel by the RAF destroys the last two major German warships.
9: Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer is executed at Flossenburg prison.
10: Buchenwald concentration camp liberated by American forces.
11: Spain breaks diplomatic relations with Japan.
11: Japanese kamikaze attacks on American naval ships continue at Okinawa; the carrier Enterprise and the battleship Missouri are hit.
12: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies suddenly. Harry S. Truman becomes president of the United States.
13: Vienna Offensive ends with Soviet victory.
14: Large-scale firebombing of Tokyo.
15: Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated by the British Army.
16: The Battle of the Seelow Heights and the Battle of the Oder-Neisse begin as the Soviets continue to advance towards the city of Berlin.
18: Ernie Pyle, famed war correspondent for the GI's, is killed by a sniper on Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa.
19: Switzerland closes its borders with Germany (and former Austria).
19: Allies continue their sweep toward the Po Valley.
19: The Soviet advance towards the city of Berlin continues and soon reach the suburbs.
Happy 2nd Lt. William Robertson and Lt. Alexander Sylvashko, Red Army, shown in front of sign "East Meets West" symbolizing the historic meeting of the Red Army and American armies, near Torgau, Germany on Elbe Day.
20: Hitler celebrates his 56th birthday in the bunker in Berlin; reports are that he is in an unhealthy state, nervous, and depressed.
21: Soviet forces under Georgiy Zhukov (1st Belorussian Front), Konstantin Rokossovskiy (2nd Belorussian Front), and Ivan Konev (1st Ukrainian Front) launch assaults on the German forces in and around the city of Berlin as the opening stages of the Battle of Berlin.
21: Hitler ordered SS-General Felix Steiner to attack the 1st Belorussian Front and destroy it. The ragtag units of "Army Detachment Steiner" are not fully manned.
22: Hitler is informed late in the day that, with the approval of Gotthard Heinrici, Steiner's attack was never launched. Instead, Steiner's forces were authorised to retreat.
22: In response to the news concerning Steiner, Hitler launches a furious tirade against the perceived treachery and incompetence of his military commanders in front of Wilhelm Keitel, Hans Krebs, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Burgdorf, and Martin Bormann. Hitler's tirade culminates in an oath to stay in Berlin to head up the defence of the city.
22: Hitler ordered German General Walther Wenck to attack towards Berlin with his Twelfth Army, link up with the Ninth Army of General Theodor Busse, and relieve the city. Wenck launched an attack, but it came to nothing.
23: Hermann Göring sends a radiogram to Hitler's bunker, asking to be declared Hitler's successor. He proclaims that if he gets no response by 10 PM, he will assume Hitler is incapacitated and assume leadership of the Reich. Furious, Hitler strips him of all his offices and expels him from the Nazi Party.
23: Albert Speer makes one last visit to Hitler, informing him that he ignored the Nero Decree for scorched earth.
24: Meanwhile, Himmler, ignoring the orders of Hitler, makes a secret surrender offer to the Allies, (led by Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Red Cross) provided that the Red Army is not involved. The offer is rejected; when Hitler hears of Himmler's betrayal, he orders him shot.
24: Forces of the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front link up in the initial encirclement of Berlin.
24: Allies encircle last German armies near Bologna, and the Italian war in effect comes to an end.
25: Elbe Day: First contact between Soviet and American troops at the river Elbe, near Torgau in Germany.
26: Hitler summons Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim from Munich to Berlin to take over command of the Luftwaffe from Göring. While flying into Berlin, von Greim is seriously wounded by Soviet anti-aircraft fire.
27: The encirclement of German forces in Berlin is completed by the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front.
28: Head of State for the Italian Social Republic, Benito Mussolini, heavily disguised, is captured in northern Italy while trying to escape. Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci, are shot and hanged in Milan the next day. Other members of his puppet government are also executed by Italian partisans and their bodies put on display in Milan.
29: Dachau concentration camp is liberated by the U.S. 7th Army. All forces in Italy officially surrender and a ceasefire is declared.
29: Allied air forces commence Operations Manna and Chowhound, providing food aid to the Netherlands under a truce made with occupying German forces.
29: Hitler marries his companion Eva Braun.
30: Hitler and his wife commit suicide, he by a combination of poison and a gunshot. Before he dies Adolf Hitler dictates his last will and testament. In it Joseph Goebbels is appointed Reich Chancellor and Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz is appointed Reich President.

May 1945
1: As one of his last acts Reich Chancellor Joseph Goebbels has sent German General Hans Krebs to negotiate the surrender of the city of Berlin with Soviet General Vasily Chuikov. Chuikov, as commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army, (and one time leader of the defence at Stalingrad) commands the Soviet forces in central Berlin. Krebs is not authorized by Goebbels to agree to an unconditional surrender, so his negotiations with Chuikov end with no agreement.
1: Partisan leader Tito and his troops capture Trieste in northwest Italy. New Zealand troops play a supporting role.
1: Goebbels and his wife kill their children and then commit suicide.
1: The war in Italy is over but some German troops are still not accounted for.
1: Australian troops land on Tarakan island off the coast of Borneo
2: The Battle of Berlin ends when German General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the Berlin Defence Area, (and no longer bound by Goebbels commands), unconditionally surrenders the city of Berlin to Soviet General Vasily Chuikov.
3: The German cruiser Hipper is scuttled, having been hit heavily by the RAF in April.
3: Éamon de Valera, Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, offers regrets for Hitler's death to German officialdom.
3: Rangoon is liberated.
4: Neuengamme concentration camp is liberated.
4: German troops are surrendering throughout Europe. Troops in Denmark, Northern Germany and The Netherlands surrender to Montgomery.
4: Karl Dönitz orders all U-boats to cease operations.
5: Czech resistance fighters started Prague uprising.
5: Soviets started Prague Offensive.
5: Mauthausen concentration camp is liberated.
5: German troops in the Netherlands officially surrender; Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands accepts the surrender.
5: Formal negotiations for Germany's surrender begin at Reims, France.
5: Kamikazes have major successes off Okinawa.
5: Japanese Fire balloons claim their first and only lives
6: This date marks the last fighting for American troops in Europe.
6: German soldiers open fire on a crowd celebrating the liberation in Amsterdam.
7: Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies at the Western Allied Headquarters in Rheims, France at 2:41 a.m. In accordance with orders from Reich President Karl Dönitz, General Alfred Jodl signs for Germany.
7: Hermann Göring, for a while in the hands of the SS, surrenders to the Americans.
8: Ceasefire takes effect at one minute past midnight; V-E Day in Britain
8: The remaining members of the Prime Minister Jozef Tiso's pro-German Slovak Republic capitulates to the American General Walton Walker's XX Corps in Kremsmünster, Austria.
8: Germany surrendered again unconditionally to the Soviet Union army but this time in a ceremony hosted by the Soviet Union. In accordance with orders from Reich President Karl Dönitz, General Wilhelm Keitel signs for Germany.
8: In accordance with orders from Reich President Karl Dönitz, Colonel-General Carl Hilpert unconditionally surrenders his troops in the Courland Pocket.
8: Prague uprising ends with negotiated surrender with Czech resistance which allowed the Germans in Prague to leave the city.
8: Soviet forces capture the Reichstag during which the soviets install the famous flag of Soviet Union over Reichstag.
8: Vietnam is considered a minor item on the agenda; in order to disarm the Japanese in Viet Nam, the Allies divide the country in half at the 16th parallel. Chinese Nationalists will move in and disarm the Japanese north of the parallel while the British will move in and do the same in the south. During the conference, representatives from France request the return of all French pre-war colonies in Indochina. Their request is granted. Vietnam will once again become French colony following the removal of the Japanese.
9: Red Army entered Prague as part of the Prague Offensive.
9: Soviet Union officially pronounces May 9 as the Victory Day.
9: German garrison in Channel Islands agreed to unconditional surrender.
9: German troops on Bornholm surrender to Soviet troops.
11: Prague Offensive ends with Soviet capture of the capital city, the last major city to be liberated, though the war is over. Eisenhower stops Patton from participating in the liberation.
11: German Army Group Centre in Czechoslovakia surrenders.
11: War in New Guinea continues, with Australians attacking Wewak.
14: Nagoya, Japan is heavily bombed.
14: Fighting in the southern Philippines continues.
14–15: The Battle of Poljana, the last major battle of World War II in Europe, is fought.
18: Continued fierce fighting on Okinawa.
20: Georgian Uprising of Texel ends, concluding hostilities in Europe.
23: British forces capture and arrest the members of what was left of the Flensburg government. This was the German government formed by Reich President Karl Dönitz after the suicides of both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.
23: Heavy bombing of Yokohama, an important port and naval base.
23: Heinrich Himmler, head of the notorious SS, dies of suicide by cyanide pill.
29: Fighting breaks out in Syria and Lebanon, as nationalists demand freedom from French control.

June 1945
2: Air Group 87 aircraft from USS Ticonderoga struck airfields on Kyushu, Japan in an attempt to stop special attack aircraft from taking off.
5: A huge Pacific typhoon hits the American navy under Admiral Halsey; the fleet suffers widespread damage.
5: Allies agree to divide Germany into four areas of control.
10: Australian troops land at Brunei, Borneo.
13: The Australians capture Brunei
15: Osaka, Japan is bombed heavily.
16: The Japanese are in a general retreat in central China.
17: Japanese Admiral Ota Minoru committed ritual suicide for failing to defend Okinawa, Japan.[1]
19: The United Kingdom begins demobilisation.
20: Schiermonnikoog, a Dutch island, is the last part of Europe freed by Allied troops.
21: The defeat of the Japanese on Okinawa is now complete.
26: The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.
27: The first oil pump is restored at Tarakan Island

July 1945
1: Australian troops land at Balikpapan, Borneo in the Western Allies last major land operation of the war
4: General MacArthur announces that the Philippines have been liberated.
6: Norway declares war on Japan.
10: US Navy aircraft participate in attacks on Tokyo for the first time.
14: Italy declares war on Japan.
16: U.S. conducts the Trinity test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, the first test of a nuclear weapon.
17: The Potsdam Conference begins. The Allied leaders agree to insist upon the unconditional surrender of Japan.
22: America and Japan engage in a small bloodless skirmish in the Battle of Tokyo Bay. The Japanese take slight losses
24: Truman hints at the Potsdam Conference that the United States has nuclear weapons.
24: British and Americans commence the Bombing of Kure
26: The Labour Party win the United Kingdom general election by a landslide. The new United Kingdom Prime Minister Clement Attlee replaces Churchill at the negotiating table at Potsdam. Potsdam Declaration is issued.
28: The Japanese battleships Haruna and Ise are sunk by aircraft from US Task Force 38 while in shallow anchorage at Kure Naval Base.
30: The USS Indianapolis is sunk shortly after midnight by a Japanese submarine after having delivered atomic bomb material to Tinian; because of poor communications, the ship's whereabouts are unknown for some time and many of its men drown or are attacked by sharks in the next four days.
31: US air attacks on the cities of Kobe and Nagoya in Japan.

August 1945
1: Ukrainian insurgents attack the police station in Baligrod, Poland. Polish soldiers defend the station, driving off the attackers, who torch several houses as they retreat
2: End of the Potsdam Conference: Issues such as the expulsion of Germans from the eastern quarter of Germany and elsewhere in eastern Europe are mandated in the Potsdam Agreement.
6: Enola Gay drops the first atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima.
8: Soviet Union declares war on Japan; the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation begins about an hour later which includes landings on the Kurile Islands. The Japanese have been evacuating in anticipation of this.
9: Soviet troops enter China and Korea.
9: Bockscar drops the second atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki.
14: An attempted coup by Japanese military and right-wingers to overthrow the government and prevent the inevitable surrender.
14: Last day of United States Force combat actions. All units frozen in place.
15: Emperor Hirohito issues a radio broadcast announcing Japan's surrender; though the surrender seems to be "unconditional", the Emperor's status is still open for discussion.
15: World-wide celebration of VJ Day.
16: Emperor Hirohito issues an Imperial Rescript ordering Japanese forces to cease fire.
The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocentre.
17: Indonesia declares independence from Japan. General Order No. 1 is approved by the President of the United States.
19: At a spontaneous non-communist meeting in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh assume a leading role in the movement to wrest power from the French. With the Japanese still in control of Indochina in the interim, Bảo Đại goes along because he thought that the Viet Minh were still working with the American OSS and could guarantee independence for Vietnam. Later, Ho Chi Minh's guerrillas occupy Hanoi and proclaim a provisional government.
19: Hostilities between Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists break into the open.
22: Japanese armies surrender to the Red Army in Manchuria.
27: Japanese armies in Burma surrender at Rangoon ceremonies.
30: Royal Navy force under Rear-Admiral Cecil Harcourt liberates Hong Kong.
31: General MacArthur takes over command of the Japanese government in Tokyo.

September 1945
2: The commander of the Imperial Japanese Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Filipino and American troops at Kiangan, Ifugao in Northern Philippines.
2: The Japanese Instrument of Surrender is signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
2: Ho Chi Minh issues his Proclamation of Independence, drawing heavily upon the American Declaration of Independence from a copy provided by the OSS. Ho declares himself president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and pursues American recognition but is repeatedly ignored by President Harry S. Truman.
5: Singapore is officially liberated by British and Indian troops.
13: British forces under Major-General Douglas Gracey's 20th Indian Division, some 26,000 men in all, arrive in Saigon which is in turmoil, South Vietnam to disarm and accept surrender of Japanese Occupation Forces in South Vietnam south of the 16th parallel. 180,000 Chinese Nationalist soldiers, mainly poor peasants, arrive in Hanoi, North Vietnam to disarm and accept surrender north of the line. After looting Vietnamese villages during their entire march down from China, they then proceed to loot Hanoi.
16: Japanese garrison in Hong Kong officially signs the instrument of surrender.
22: The British rearm 1,400 French soldiers from Japanese internment camps around Saigon. In Saïgon, on the 24 september night, a mob composed of Viet-Minh miliants and sympathizers attacks french colonial administration and kills around 150 european civilians. An estimated 20,000 French civilians live in Saigon.
29: US 10th army Brig General R.M. Cannon accepts the surrender of arms from Japanese Navy and Army soldiers on the islands of Miyako and Ishigaki at Sakishima Gunto.

October 1945
1: In southern Vietnam, a purely bilateral British/French agreement recognizes French administration of the southern zone. In northern Vietnam, Chinese troops go on a "rampage". Hồ's Việt Minh are hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with it.
The non fraternization directive for U.S. troops against German civilians was rescinded. Previously even speaking to a German could lead to court martial, except for "small children", these had been exempt in June 1945.
25: General Rikichi Andō, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, turns over Taiwan to General Chen Yi of the Kuomintang (KMT) military. Chen Yi proclaims that day to be "Taiwan Retrocession Day" and organizes the island into the Taiwan Province. Taiwan has since been governed as the Republic of China. The Republic of China is distinct from the People's Republic of China. The formal ROC consists of Taiwan Province, and has existed since 1912. The PRC was founded post-war in 1949.

November 1945
29: The prohibition against marriage between GIs and Austrian women was rescinded on November 29. Later it would be rescinded for German women too. Black soldiers serving in the army were not allowed to marry white women, (in the case that they remained in the army) so they were restricted until 1948 when the prohibition against interracial marriages was removed.

December 1945
28: The US Coast Guard was transferred under the US Treasury Department.
31: The British Home Guard is disbanded.
The US prohibition against food shipments to Germany is rescinded. "CARE Package shipments to individuals remained prohibited until 5 June 1946".

March 1946
Hồ Chí Minh accepts an Allied compromise for temporary return of 15,000 French troops to rid the North of anti-Communists. British/Indian troops depart Vietnam and Nationalist Chinese troops flee to Taiwan, looting as they depart, leaving the war in Vietnam to continue with the conflict between the French and the Viet Minh. As World War II ends, starvation kills over 2 million Vietnamese.

October 1946
15: Two hours before his scheduled execution, Hermann Göring committed suicide.

December 1946
U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares, "Although a state of war still exists, it is at this time possible to declare, and I find it to be in the public interest to declare, that hostilities have terminated. Now, therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the cessation of hostilities of World War II, effective twelve o'clock noon, December 31, 1946."

February 10, 1947
U.S. Signs Peace treaties with Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, and Romania.

19 October 1951
End of state of war with Germany was granted by the U.S. Congress on 19 October 1951, after a request by president Truman on 9 July. In the Petersberg Agreement of November 22, 1949 it was noted that the West German government wanted an end to the state of war, but the request could not be granted. The U.S. state of war with Germany was being maintained for legal reasons, and though it was softened somewhat it was not suspended since "the U.S. wants to retain a legal basis for keeping a U.S. force in Western Germany".

May 5, 1955
End of occupation of West Germany. West Berlin remained as a special territory. The Eastern quarter of Germany remained annexed by the Allies, but Germany would not legally accept this as a fact until in 1970 when West Germany signed treaties with the Soviet Union (Treaty of Moscow) and Poland (Treaty of Warsaw) recognizing the Oder-Neisse line between Germany and Poland.

The mother of a prisoner thanks Konrad Adenauer upon his return from Moscow, September 14, 1955. Adenauer has succeeded in concluding negotiations about the release to Germany, by the end of the year, of 15,000 German civilians and prisoners of war.
Last major repatriation of German Prisoners of War and German civilians who were used as forced labor by the Allies after the war, in accordance with the agreement made at the Yalta conference. Most Prisoners of War held by the U.S. France and the U.K. had been released by 1949.